In the study provided to Reuters, Wilshire estimated 109 state
retirement systems had enough assets to cover 73 percent of their
obligations in the year ended June 30, 2013, up 5.7 percent from 69
percent in 2012. Still, 90 percent of those plans were considered
Russ Walker, vice president at Wilshire Associates and an author of
the report, attributed the rise to the strong rally of global stock
markets over the 12 months, offsetting "weaker performance by global
fixed income and allowing pension asset growth to outdistance the
growth in pension liabilities over fiscal 2013."
For years, many states short-changed their public pensions, putting
in far less than recommended by actuaries. The 2007-2009 recession
further cut revenues, while plans' investments, which provide
two-thirds of revenues, went into a downward spiral.
From California to New York, battles have erupted over whether
states have enough money to pay promised benefits, especially now
that the first wave of the baby boom population is retiring.
[to top of second column]
Pension assets totaled $428.9 billion, while liabilities were $589.7
billion, reported Wilshire, a Santa Monica, California-based
independent investment consulting firm. Of the retirement systems
studied by Wilshire, 34 had equity allocations that equal or exceed
70 percent, while 14 systems were below 50 percent.
(Reporting by Robin Respaut; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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