Ohio’s public pension plans have so much debt that paying it off today would cost each resident $25,080.
According to a new report, “Promises Made, Promises Broken 2014,” by nonprofit State Budget Solutions, the amount of unfunded pension obligations in Ohio has grown to nearly $290 billion, fifth highest in the nation.
That’s despite recent changes in the pension plans that were supposed to address the unfunded liability.
“That’s a very scary place for Ohio. The national average is $15,000, so $25,000 is just terrible,” said Joe Luppino-Esposito, SBS editor and general counsel and the author of the report.
He said the $25,080 places Ohio third regarding highest per capita debt. Alaska, due in part to its low population, was first, in front of Illinois.
Ohio has several individual plans — for teachers, police and fire, state employees, school employees and the State Highway patrol. Participants and the public employer contribute to the plans like non-public workers, and employers contribute to Social Security.