by Sarah Curry
Director of Fiscal Policy Studies
Moody’s Investor Service just released a report of the 50 largest local governments in the United States and their pension burdens. The findings show that 31 of the 50 governments increased their pension burdens from the last analysis done by Moody’s.
The report said the fiscal year 2013 median adjusted net pension liabilities increased to 204% of operating revenue from 175% the prior fiscal year. Still, pension costs and liability burdens vary widely among the 50 largest local governments; for 14, pension and actuarial costs amount to less than 5% of revenue.
As a percentage of operating revenue, Chicago remained at the top with adjusted net pension liabilities at 703%, followed by Dallas at 506%; Houston, 458%; Los Angeles, 410%; and Jacksonville, Fla., 403%. Among those with the lowest percentages are Washington, D.C., with 24%, followed by Cypress-Fairbanks (Texas) Independent School District at 25%, and Mecklenburg County, N.C., 29%.
Good to know that Mecklenburg is relatively well funded, especially when compared to other local governments across the country.