The 10 Best State Pension Funds

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

State pension funds have gotten a bad reputation over the years, mostly due to the fact that many of them are underfunded. This presents a big problem for workers who are depending heavily on their pension for retirement. Without these funds it would be difficult for them to retire within their desired timeframe, or at all.

Some state pension plans are experiencing a crisis, but others are in such great shape that they have a surplus. There are a few governments that are rising to the occasion and doing a superior job of balancing their budgets while also fulfilling pension obligations.

This is a great relief for baby boomer employees within the public sector who are planning for their retirement. Roughly 52% of boomers have already bid adieu to their fellow cubicle dwellers, an increase from 45% four years ago.

Among the 50 states, Wisconsin is the only state with a pension fund surplus. This is according to NerdWallet, which recently analyzed the health of the country’s pension funds. The report found that of all the states, 12 have pension funds that are at or above the Government Accountability Office’s definition of health. A pension fund is considered healthy if it has at least 80% funding. The states on this list are above that level.

The state pension funds that are considered the best have funding above 80%, a high contribution level, low pension liability per resident, and a high number of payments available. Take a look at the 10 best state pension funds according to NerdWallet. Is your state on the list?

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

10. Texas

  • Percent of pension funded: 81%
  • Total contributions as a percent of payroll: 12.1%
  • Pension liability per state resident: $1,584.25
  • Years of payments available: 14.92

Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images

Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images

9. Delaware

  • Percent of pension funded: 85%
  • Total contributions as a percent of payroll: 12.8%
  • Pension liability per state resident: $1,480.80
  • Years of payments available: 14.63

Jeff T. Green/Getty Images

Jeff T. Green/Getty Images

8. Idaho

  • Percent of pension funded: 85%
  • Total contributions as a percent of payroll: 17.9%
  • Pension liability per state resident: $1,238.90
  • Years of payments available: 16.59

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

7. Florida

  • Percent of pension funded: 86%
  • Total contributions as a percent of payroll: 9.4%
  • Pension liability per state resident: $1,082.84
  • Years of payments available: 19.22

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

6. Washington

  • Percent of pension funded: 89%
  • Total contributions as a percent of payroll: 10.4%
  • Pension liability per state resident: $1,049.43
  • Years of payments available: 17.34

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

5. Tennessee

  • Percent of pension funded: 89%
  • Total contributions as a percent of payroll:  15.1%
  • Pension liability per state resident:  $693.20
  • Years of payments available:  19.31

(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

David McNew/Getty Images

4.  South Dakota

  • Percent of pension funded: 93%
  • Total contributions as a percent of payroll: 13.3%
  • Pension liability per state resident: $730.62
  • Years of payments available: 18.42

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

3. New York

  • Percent of pension funded: 93%
  • Total contributions as a percent of payroll: 15.7%
  • Pension liability per state resident:  $877.92
  • Years of payments available:  15.12

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

2. North Carolina

  • Percent of pension funded:  95%
  • Total contributions as a percent of payroll:  12.7%
  • Pension liability per state resident:  $407.25
  • Years of payments available: 15.75

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

1. Wisconsin

  • Percent of pension funded: 102%
  • Total contributions as a percent of payroll: 12.6%
  • Pension liability per state resident: $0.00
  • Years of payments available: 18.41

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