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The Takeaway: 10 States With Biggest Pension Gaps; Is Yours On the List?

Economists say state retirement systems should have enough in assets to cover at least 80 percent of the pension money they owe retirees, but few states meet the 80 percent requirement–and some fall far shorter. A new report from the Pew Center on the States looks at the 10 states with the biggest pension gaps as of 2010:

1. Illinois. Had 45 percent of the $138.8 billion in pension payouts it owes long-term.

2. Rhode Island: Had just under half of the $13.4 billion it owes.

3. Connecticut: Had just over half (53 percent) of the $44.8 billion it owes.

4. Kentucky: Had 54 percent of the $37 billion it owes.

5. Louisiana: Had 56 percent of the $41.4 billion it owes.

6. Oklahoma: Had 56 percent of the $36.4 billion it owes.

7. West Virginia: Had 58 percent of the $15 billion it owes.

8. New Hampshire: Had 59 percent of the $9 billion it owes.

9. Alaska: Had 60 percent of the $16.6 billion it owes.

10. Hawaii: Had 61 percent of the $18.5 billion it owes.

All of these states have undertaken some sort of pension reform–cutting benefits, raising retirement ages, ending cost-of-living increases or creating hybrid 401(k)/pension plans–since this data was collected.

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