Here’s the good news if you’re a retired Florida teacher. Remember that pension check you get each month to cover your bills? It’s not going to bounce.
The Florida pension system is well-managed and has consistently ranked in the top ten states for financial soundness.
Be glad you’re not in Illinois, where the state is handing out IOUs to lottery winners. CNN reports that disbursements of Illinois Lottery winnings of more than $25,000 have been halted because the state doesn’t have a budget.
State pension programs across the United States were recently ranked for overall financial stability by Pew Charitable Trusts, and Florida again landed in the Top Ten.
Mike Nesper, associate editor of Employee Benefit Adviser magazine, reports that the U.S. had a $968 billion shortfall in 2013, the most recent year available, between the pension benefits that were promised to employees and what was actually saved to make those payments.
You can check out Nesper’s infographic to see which states had the best funded pension programs based on the percentage of future benefits already set aside.
Here’s the rankings from best to worst among the top ten:
1) South Dakota / Wisconsin (tie)
Percentage of pension program funded: 100%
3) North Carolina / Oregon (tie)
Percentage of pension program funded: 96%
Percentage of pension program funded: 94%
6) New York
Percentage of pension program funded: 89%
7) Washington / Delaware (tie)
Percentage of pension program funded: 88%
Percentage of pension program funded: 85%
10) Florida / Iowa (tie)
Percentage of pension program funded: 81%
What’s the worst state? That’s easy. It’s Illinois, which has put aside money to cover only 39% of its pension obligations. Ouch!