SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — As the recession took its toll many states diverted scarce money away from pension plans to pay for more immediate concerns, and the amount of new costs states will owe the public retirement funds in the decades ahead ballooned to $757 billion, according to a study released Monday.
According to the Pew Center on the States, 34 states failed to maintain safe levels of money in the pension funds, which most experts agree is about 80 percent of long-term obligations. Four states — Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky and Rhode Island — didn't even have 55 percent of the money they'll need in the long run.
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