Bringing the Economy Home

Why Investment Smoothing Makes Idaho’s Pension System Look Good

Pew Center on the States

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Idaho’s public employee pension system gap continues to shrink.

As we reported yesterday, a Pew Center on the States Report compared each state’s pension system in 2010.  Many states, including Idaho, took a big hit when the financial markets crashed in 2008, resulting in staggering investment losses.

Idaho is making a quicker comeback than many states thanks to something called “smoothing.”  That basically means Idaho took its financial hit all at once, while many other states smoothed out those short term losses over a five year period.

So, some states will continue to feel investment losses from the 2008 economic crash while Idaho’s pension system is on the mend.

In 2010, Pew reports the gap between Idaho’s assets and its obligation to fund public employee pensions was $3 billion or 79 percent funded.

According to PERSI spokesperson Patrice Perow, Idaho’s gap is now at $1.88 billion or 85 percent funded.


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