MADISON, Wis. (WTAQ) - State officials say they’re close to having enough money to meet their entire pension obligations for state and local public employees. But the Manhattan Institute and the Foundation for Educational Choice disagree. They issued a report Tuesday saying that Wisconsin’s retirement system is only 78 percent funded. And it could be up $10.9 million short in meeting its obligations to teachers alone.
The state plan also covers county, municipal, and state government employees outside of the city and county of Milwaukee – which have their own retirement plans. Josh Barro of the conservative Manhattan Institute said his group used projection rates for asset growth similar to those necessary for private pension plans.
Matt Stohr of the state Employee Trust Funds’ department says his office uses an independent actuary to estimate the funding level that’s needed – and a number of reports say the plan is fully funded. And even with the Manhattan Institute’s figures, Stohr says it’s still very well funded. The report said Wisconsin has the 6th highest funded plan among 59 it surveyed.