According to the Pew Center on the States, a nonprofit division of The Pew Charitable Trusts, Kentucky's six pension systems had a combined funding level of 63.8% last year. Unfunded liabilities for pensions and health care benefits are at about 31%.

Fiscal watchdogs such as the conservative Bluegrass Institute have pointed out that the problems inherent in having an unfunded liability that is 234% of payroll are even more staggering considering that as recently as 2001, these plans were very well funded, at 110%. Fueling the funding decline has been a lack of funding cost-of-living increases.

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