Depletion Ratio (DR):
(Deposits – Payouts) / Assets
is a good indicator of which state has the biggest pension problem since those numbers are difficult to fudge with.
Paring down our DR spreadsheet to only Illinois plans shows $11.6 billion being paid out of a fund that is supposed to have $114.5 billion with $9.8 billion coming in. That translates into a DR of -1.61% which would mean all the money is gone in 62 years.
Not exactly a crisis when compared to New Jersey which has a DR of -6.64% and 15 years left. What this tells me is that Illinois is making an effort to fund their pensions (even if they have to tax to do it) while many other states careen toward plan bankruptcies, benefit defaults, or some combination.
But, after sorting and subtotaling all the data, it turns out there is one state that has a lower combined DR for all their plans than New Jersey.