Judicial State Pensions

Of the 154 state plans in our survey of actuarial reports 15 are exclusively for judges and these happen to provide the…

  • best benefits ($75,694 average payout to retirees)
  • smallest employee contributions (13.6% of deposits coming from employees with three plans – Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina – not requiring any employee contributions), and
  • aside from two particularly egregious outliers that account for 77% of the underfunding (yes the same two that always appear on these lists) the best funded state plans with nine having funded ratios over 90% and two (Delaware and Georgia) even overfunded.

The spreadshhet of judicial plans yields these sorted lists:




7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on August 20, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    I wonder how their plans depletion ratio will impact future SC decisions.


  2. Posted by Anonymous on August 20, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Wow GA over funded & zero employee contributions – their taxpayers should be outraged. Or is this just another elitist scenario where the politicians & judges have a separate set of rules for themselves?


    • Posted by Anon on August 21, 2016 at 12:11 am

      Have you yet noticed the “hidden” legislative plans where there isn’t a separate plan (like GARS in Illinois), but instead there’s separate provisions buried in a SE plan?


  3. Posted by Daniel Pellissier on August 23, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    CalPERS has two retirement systems for Judges.

    For judges elected or appointed before 11/94, the defined benefit plan is on a pay-go basis and $3.4 billion underfunded (1.7% funded) — http://www.calpers.ca.gov/docs/forms-publications/jrs-actuarial-valuation-2014.pdf

    For judges elected or appointed after 11/94, their defined benefit plan is over funded by $63 million (106%) — http://www.calpers.ca.gov/docs/forms-publications/jrs-ii-actuarial-valuation-2014.pdf

    Of course these reports use a 6/30/14 valuation date and a 7.0% discount rate, one slightly more realistic that the much larger CalPERS funds.


  4. Posted by MJ on August 23, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    When will public employees including judges be required to take responsibility for their own retirements and future? Wouldn’t it be much more cost effective to provide financial planning to publics as compared to making promises that will never be kept?


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