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Most large state and local government pension plans have enough assets to cover benefit payments to retirees for a decade or more, according to a new General Accounting Office report. But they still face challenges because of the gap between their assets and liabilities.

Investment losses due to the economic downturn and plan sponsors neglecting to make adequate plan contributions have widened the gap between the two. This has increased the amount of money plans are required to contribute to sustain their pension plans at the same time state and local governments are facing other fiscal pressures.

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