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West Virginia has faced its pension problem

New rules by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board will force state and local governments across America to own up to public employee pension debts next year.

The rules require state governments to include in

financial statements how much money the state owes in its pension plans for public employees.

Economists calculate the total owed in state and

local government pensions at $5 trillion last year.

West Virginia is among the states with the biggest problem, mainly due to a teacher pension plan that is only 56 percent funded. But 19 years ago, West Virginia began a 40-year plan to pay it off.

The debt is still big and hits the annual budget hard, but at least our state is nearly halfway to total funding.


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