Study On Public Sector Retirement Funds Brings Mixed News For Ohio

Apr 21, 2017

State pension systems are underfunded by more than a trillion dollars nationwide, according to a new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts. Taxpayers would have to make up that shortfall. But the study has some good news for Ohio.

According to the report, Ohio’s pension system is 76 percent funded, which is an improvement over the last time the Pew Trusts looked at public sector retirement systems.

Senior researcher David Draine says Ohio is at 21 in the nation, and he notes the state has made some changes to try to shore up its pension funds, such as making cost of living adjustments.

“If all those things hold true, that obviously puts them on a path towards closing their pension debt over time," Draine says.

But the report said the three Ohio pension funds studied assumed rates of return of more than 7.75 percent, which is twice as high as their actual rates of return. And the Pew study said pension funds nationwide paid more than $4 billion in hidden fees, mostly to private equity managers.