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The Contribution Rate Just Keeps Growing:

Why Persistent Pension Debt Has Created Challenges for ASRS That Arizona Should Fix as Soon as Possible

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The Contribution Rate Just Keeps Growing
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Why Equable Institute Cares about Retirement Security

For America’s states and local governments to function properly and thrive — that is, to provide effective and efficient governance — the institutions within its municipalities must be healthy, strong, and meeting their objectives.¹ Public sector retirement systems are one important tool used by those institutions to meet their objectives, as a component of total […]
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The 80% Pension Funding Standard Myth

An 80% funded ratio often has been cited in recent years as a basis for whether a pension plan is financially or “actuarially” sound. Left unchallenged, this misinformation can gain undue credibility with the observer, who may accept and in turn rely on it as fact, thereby establishing a mythic standard. This issue brief debunks […]
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Why COLAs Matter for Retirement Security

Everyone has their favorite moment of realizing the effects of inflation. Just five cents for a bottle of Coke? You’d be lucky to get that back as a bottle deposit today. A dime for a comic book? No amount of superhero time travel will bring that back. Less than a dollar for a gallon of […]
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How Unfunded Pension Costs Threaten Educational Equity

School districts’ unfunded pension and benefit costs are rapidly increasing at a rate that will become unsustainable. While districts paid approximately $500 per pupil in 2013 for employee pension costs, they will pay $1600 per pupil in 2020. We’ve dubbed this “The Big Squeeze” because it is strangling public education funding, forcing districts to reduce […]
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Hidden Debt, Hidden Deficits: 2019 Update

State and local governments are on the hook to pay retirement benefits to public employees such as teachers and public safety officials. However, governments generally do not set aside enough money to pay for these promises down the road. If the pensions are underfunded, then future taxpayers will have to pay twice for services rendered: […]
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Comparing State Funding Policies to S&P Global Measurement of Best Practice

S&P Global Rating’s analyzes state and local pension plans from the perspective municipal bond holders, the organizations that lend money to state and local governments. As part of this process, S&P Global has developed their own metrics of what governments should be contributing to their pension plans, in part based on a more conservative estimate […]
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The Growing Costs of Arizona’s State Retirement System are Crowding Out Teacher Pay and Education Finances

The Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) provides retirement income for nearly 150,000 former teachers, state workers, and civilian municipal employees across the Cactus State. The guaranteed income provided to retirees is based on their final average salary and years of service while working in public service. While this is a welcome benefit for Arizona’s public […]
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Why States Don’t Pay Their Pension Bills

One of the primary factors driving state and local unfunded pension liabilities is the failure of governments to always pay their pension bills known as actuarially determined contributions. It is obvious that shortchanging a pension fund is likely to create problems down the road, so what causes states to do this? Accounting specialists known as […]
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Look into the status of specific states.

How are states managing their pension and retirement promises? Or how much employees have to contribute toward their pension and retirement benefits? Select a state to see a snapshot of your state's retirement system.