Scores of public pensions across the United States are so massively underfunded that the shortfall is roughly equal to Japan's GDP - the world's third-largest economy, according to Moody's Investors Service.
State and local pension plans in the U.S. now have less than three- quarters of the money they need to meet their promised payouts, their lowest level since at least 2001, according to Public Plans Database figures weighted by plan size. In dollar terms the hole for state and local pensions is now $5 trillion, according to Moody’s Investors Service. -WSJ
If governments don't increase taxes, convince pensioners to take less than they were promised or divert funds from elsewhere, an increasing number of funds face insolvency, reports the Wall Street Journal.
In Kentucky, for example, a major pension for state employees had around 16% of what it needs to fulfill its obligations based on 2017 fiscal year figures, according to the Public Plans database which tracks state and local pension funds. A Chicago municipal employee fund had less than 30% of what it needed during the same fiscal year, while New Jersey's state pension is so underfunded it faces insolvency in 12 years according to a Pew Charitable Trusts Study.
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