Reports: Oklahoma’s Pension System Dry By 2020?

Inquiring minds are looking at Oklahoma where stunning reports are out stating that their pension system might run dry by 2020.

That’s right. Teachers, firefighters, police officers, state employees — a quarter of a million strong–are in jeopardy of losing much, if not all, of their pension benefits:

Recent reports suggest Oklahoma’s retirement systems — for teachers, firefighters, police officers and state workers — are among the least fiscally stable in the country and could run out of money at the end of this decade.

That conclusion is based, in part, on one number — 47.9.

Forty-seven point nine percent is the Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System’s (OTRS) funding ratio. ‘Funding ratio’ is, in essence, the total value of the system’s assets versus the total value of benefits owed to all vested members of the system, even if they’re not yet collecting their pension. Experts said a healthy retirement system has a funding ratio of 80 percent.

How much does this number translate to in dollars? Try $16.5 Billion, more than double the state’s total annual budget. This ‘unfunded liability’ could very well drag down Oklahoma’s bond rating and push the systems to their tipping point much faster.

If a state like Oklahoma has severe problems with its state workers’ pension system, you can rest assured that the entire country is in deep trouble. If California thinks they are going to be bailed out, then they are in for a very rude awakening.

Simply put…there is no money anywhere.

A tip-of-the-hat to Louie for this story.


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