New Jersey announced their pension-hole numbers a month ago but how do they stack up against other states?
Bloomberg apparently did some compiling and, as it turns out:
New Jersey became the state with the worst-funded public pension system in the U.S. in 2015, followed closely by Kentucky and Illinois.
The Garden State had $135.7 billion less than it needs to cover all the benefits that have been promised, a $22.6 billion increase over the prior year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Illinois’s unfunded pension liabilities rose to $119.1 billion from $111.5 billion.
Broad numbers mask big difference in the health of public pensions between states. While New Jersey only has 37.5 cents available to pay each $1 of benefits, South Dakota, the state with the best-funded pension, had $1.04, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Kentucky, the state with the second-worst funded retirement system, had a ratio of assets to liabilities of 37.8 percent, followed by Illinois at 40.2 percent.
New Jersey and Illinois’ pension liabilities have led to credit-credit rating cuts and higher borrowing costs relative to other governments. The Garden State 10-year bonds yield about 2.5 percent, or 0.8 percentage point more than top-rated debt and the second highest among 20 states surveyed by Bloomberg. Illinois pays the highest, 3.7 percent.