If you were told your state might wither away because it took too long to do the math on its retirement system, would you be angry? Would you pack up and move? Or would you try to be fair?

For a state as small as Rhode Island, there's little margin for squabbling. At $7 billion, the state has the highest unfunded pension liability per capita in any state in the country.

The state has been running its pension numbers with the assumption the funds would post an average annual return of 8.25 percent. The actual number for the last decade has been around 2.4 percent.

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