15 States Facing a Pension Crisis That Could Lead to Economic Disaster

The U.S. is facing a growing pension crisis that could spell disaster for many states and their residents. These looming financial threats, exacerbated by inadequate funding and poor investment returns, could lead to severe budget cuts and tax hikes. Here are 15 states where the pension crisis is most alarming:

#1. Illinois

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Illinois has a staggering $140 billion in pension debt, with pension payments accounting for 25% of the state’s budget. Despite attempts to address the issue, the state’s funding ratio remains dismal, and escalating costs threaten essential services like education and healthcare.

#2. New Jersey

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New Jersey’s unfunded pension liability stands at over $100 billion, equating to 20.2% of the state’s personal income. The state’s pension system is less than 50% funded, which poses a serious threat to its fiscal health and the security of public retirees.

#3. California

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California faces the largest pension debt in the nation, estimated at $245 billion. Even with recent efforts to improve funding, the sheer size of the debt means the state will struggle to meet its obligations without significant budget adjustments.

#4. Kentucky

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Kentucky’s pension system is only 47% funded, with $44 billion in unfunded liabilities. This severe underfunding could lead to drastic cuts in public services and increased taxes to cover pension costs.

#5. Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania is grappling with a substantial pension crisis, with unfunded liabilities exceeding $70 billion. The state’s pension system has consistently failed to meet its investment return targets, exacerbating the funding gap.

#6. Connecticut

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Connecticut’s pension system is underfunded by nearly $40 billion, with a funded ratio of just 53%. The state’s high tax burden and rising pension costs could drive residents and businesses away, further shrinking the tax base needed to fund these obligations.

#7. Massachusetts

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Massachusetts has over $41 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. The state’s pension system is struggling to stay solvent, and without substantial reforms, it risks defaulting on its obligations to retirees.

#8. Colorado

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Colorado’s pension debt totals around $31 billion, with a funded ratio of only 59%. The state has implemented some reforms, but the gap continues to grow, threatening fiscal stability.

#9. Oregon

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Oregon faces a pension crisis with unfunded liabilities of over $25 billion. Despite economic growth, the state’s pension system remains significantly underfunded, raising concerns about future solvency.

#10. Minnesota

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Minnesota has approximately $16 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, and its pension system is just 62% funded. The state’s rising pension costs could lead to budget shortfalls and higher taxes.

#11. Michigan

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Michigan’s pension debt is over $30 billion, with a funding ratio below 60%. The state’s economic struggles and declining population compound the difficulty of addressing the pension shortfall.

#12. Ohio

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Ohio’s unfunded pension liabilities exceed $30 billion, with a funding ratio of just 66%. The state’s pension crisis is putting pressure on the budget, potentially leading to cuts in essential services.

#13. Texas

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Texas faces a growing pension crisis with unfunded liabilities nearing $88 billion. The state’s rapid population growth and economic expansion are at risk if pension obligations continue to outpace revenues.

#14. New York

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New York has a significant pension debt of over $120 billion. Despite being one of the wealthiest states, its pension system’s funding issues could lead to severe fiscal challenges and increased taxes.

#15. Rhode Island

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Rhode Island’s pension system is severely underfunded, with liabilities of around $7 billion. The state has implemented reforms, but the funding gap remains a major concern for long-term fiscal health.

A Looming Financial Crisis

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The pension crisis in these states is a ticking time bomb that threatens to derail their economies and public services. Without immediate and significant reforms, these financial obligations could lead to higher taxes, reduced public services, and economic instability. President Biden and state leaders must prioritize this issue to prevent a nationwide fiscal disaster.

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The post – 15 States Facing a Pension Crisis That Could Lead to Economic Disaster first appeared on Liberty & Wealth.

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The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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