State Net Capitol Journal: WV Commits to Paying Down Pension Debt

State Net Capitol Journal: WV Commits to Paying Down Pension Debt

West Virginia's unfunded pension liability - estimated at $10 billion last year - is one of the highest per capita in the nation. But the state became a standout on the issue in a very different way last month when lawmakers approved legislation proposed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) - SB 469 - dedicating $30 million per year in personal income tax revenues to help pay down that pension debt. 

"We've struggled for the last three or four years to find a solution," Tomblin said. "Now, as far as I know, we're the first in the country to address it." 

Public pension analysts supported that claim. 

"While many states struggle with similarly low funded ratios, only West Virginia has implemented a plan to bring the funded ratio of such a large accrued liability to 100 percent," said Lisa Heller, a senior analyst at Moody's Investor Service, echoing three others who said they knew of no other state that had devoted tax revenue to that end. 

States have focused instead on shrinking their unfunded liabilities. Over the last three years, nearly every one has reduced retirement benefits for public employees. (STATELINE.ORG, STATE NET)

The above article is provided by the State Net Capitol Journal. State Net is the nation's leading source of state legislative and regulatory content for all states within the United States. State Net daily monitors every bill in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the United States Congress - as well as every state agency regulation. Virtually all of the information about individual bills and their progress through legislatures is online within 24 hours of public availability.

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