California State Pension Obligations Nearly $64 Billion

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California has nearly $64 billion in pension debt that eventually must be paid to current and former teachers and state workers — a figure more than $20 billion higher than previous estimates.

The higher pension liability was reported for the first time Friday in state Controller Betty Yee’s annual financial report. It uses a new calculation aimed at more accurately reporting the government’s financial responsibilities.

The “net pension liability” reflects the state’s unfunded retirement costs as of June 30, 2015. California had previously reported a different figure, the “unfunded actuarial liability,” which was $40 billion a year earlier.

Yee says California collected $117 billion in revenue during the last fiscal year. That was up 12 percent from the previous year, mostly from a sharp uptick in personal income tax collections.

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