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Funding gap for Arizona public pension systems grows

PHOENIX — The gap between actual funding for Arizona’s public employee
retirement plans and what those plans should have on hand continues to grow.

According to a new report by Pew Center on the States and the Laura and John Arnold
Foundation,the retirement plans have a $13 billion shortfall. That’s up
from $12 billion a year earlier.

Factors cited include a lower than projected return on investments.

The report said the plans are now funded cumulatively at 73.2 percent, while
industry standards say that a fund is considered healthy at 80 percent or above.

State Treasurer Doug Ducey said changes made in 2005 and 2010 help but don’t
solve the retirement plans’ funding problem.

He added that changes must be made so the retirement plans can pay those who earned
benefits.

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