Department of Employee Trust Funds
September 20, 2013
Morningstar Finds WRS is
Strongest Funded State Pension System
For the second consecutive year, Morningstar, Inc. found that the
Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) is the strongest funded state
pension system in the country.
- The WRS’s funded ratio of 99.9% is the strongest in the
nation. Morningstar considers a funded ratio of 70% to be fiscally
- Wisconsin’s unfunded liability per resident is $18, the
lowest of any public pension plan in the country. Morningstar’s
threshold for a “good” unfunded liability level is
$1,500 per resident. Only 14 states pass this test.
Morningstar, an independent global investment research firm, recently
published its annual report, The
State of State Pension Plans 2013: A Deep Dive into Shortfalls and
Surpluses, which analyzes current data for pension plans
administered by all 50 states. It focuses on two key metrics:
- Funded Ratio—the ability of a pension plan to meet its
- Unfunded Liability per Capita—the amount each person
in the state would need to pay to fully fund an unfunded liability.
This financial strength is important to the 570,000 members of
the WRS, as well as to the taxpayers of Wisconsin. The continued
strength of the WRS is a credit to its careful benefit design and
the commitment of policymakers and administrators to properly fund
the system. The WRS is well-positioned to pay promised benefits
long into the future.