To rank the severity of each state’s pension crisis, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the average pension funding ratio — the market value of a pension fund as a share of the total benefits owed to current or retired public employees — for all 50 states as of 2017 with data from nongovernmental organization The Pew Charitable Trusts. Data on the total pension shortfall also came from Pew and is for 2018. Data on the average annual benefits payout per public retiree came from the research nonprofit National Institute on Retirement Security and figures are for 2016. Data on the share of the workforce employed in state and local government is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2019.
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