Metro Atlanta’s municipal pensions are short almost $4.4 billion of the assets they need to pay benefits promised to tens of thousands of local government employees, retirees and their families. That’s nearly half a billion dollars worse than the plans were two years ago.
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The health of a pension plan is often measured by comparing the expected value of its investment assets against the expected cost of future pension payouts. These are the worst funded of the nearly three dozen local plans examined by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, based on the most recent data available in annual financial reports.
10 worst-funded local pension plans:
Atlanta schools: 17.57%,
Atlanta General Employee: 51.2%
Fulton Schools: 53.4%
Cobb County: 54%
MARTA non-represented employees: 61.8%
Henry County: 63.8%
DeKalb County: 66.14%
Fulton County: 68.6%
City of Buford: 68.33%
10 best-funded local pension plans:
Lithonia Retirement: 209.57%.
Suwanee Retirement: 162.4%
Cobb-Marietta Water: 112.3%
Fayette County: 110.55%
Gwinnett schools: 105%
Stone Mountain Retirmenet: 101.6%
MARTA union: 99.4%
Chamblee Retirement: 98.3%
Atlanta Housing Authority: 91.64%
About this story
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution gathered information about three dozen pension plans of Metro Atlanta cities, counties, school districts and other local governments using the Georgia State Auditor’s biennial report on local retirement funds. To examine the plans more in depth, the AJC used local government’s annual financial reports and obtained pension actuarial valuation reports on plans that were severely underfunded. The reporters also interviewed city, county and school district officials, pensions board members and pension experts.