Nationally, teacher pension programs are headed on a downward spiral, towards crisis — but Idaho’s system is relatively sound.
Idaho’s teacher pension system is nearly fully funded, with 93.9 percent of its liabilities covered, according to the National Council on Teacher Quality, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group. Only six states’ systems are on stronger financial footing.
Fiscal stability was a key factor in the NCTQ’s state-by-state report card, issued Tuesday. Idaho’s pension program earned a “C” grade; nationally, the average grade was a C-minus.
The problem, according to the NCTQ, is that states cling to traditional, defined benefit pension plans — even in the face of spiraling debt. Nationally, teacher pension plans were saddled with $499 billion in debt in 2014, up from $394 billion in 2012.
To see what education groups say about Idaho's system, here's a link to my story at Idaho Education News.