Pew Study: Good News, Bad News for RI Pension/Benefits System

Pew has come out with an analysis of state pension systems. The Providence Business News sums it up:

Rhode Island was ranked among the top performers in pension funding, with $5.5 billion set aside toward a pension bill of $9.8 billion as of fiscal 2006. But on benefits, the state was ranked as “below par,” with nothing set aside toward a $700 million anticipated bill – a plight it shared with the nation’s five largest states, the center found.

More from the actual Pew RI “Fact Sheet“:

Rhode Island’s pension system is one of the most underfunded in the United States, in aggregate terms. (At the time of Pew’s report, the state had complete financial data on its pension systems only through 2005.) Rhode Island requires a higher contribution from state employees (8.75% of salary) to participate in the pension system than all but two other states. But it has had a good record of making its annual required contributions as determined by its own actuaries. As for non-pension benefits, adjusting for the state’s size, Rhode Island’s bill coming due for retiree health care and other benefits appears to be lower than most other New England states.

Pew considers RI’s pension funding as a “Top Performer” but its “Below Par” (obviously!!) in funding future benefits.

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