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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.

Tuesday Quick Hits:

  • "I don't see myself not working," Woody Allen (whose latest film, To Rome With Love, opens Friday) told USA Today. "Not because of any great contribution I have to make, but because I would be sitting at home, brooding and being depressed. When I work, it keeps my mind on stupid, solvable problems. I'm thinking of the third act and how I can make it work."
  • Boomers Help Parents Less? A new poll found 54 percent of Gen-Xers and Gen-Yers are currently covering some medical costs for parents or other relatives, compared to 42 percent of boomers.  But it's not necessarily that "boomers are stingier," said Keith Banks, president of the financial group that conducted the survey: Many boomers no longer have living parents.

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