When it comes to funding its pension obligations, Oklahoma has long been one of the worst states.

The Pew Center on the States has ranked it in the bottom five in the nation, with a 57%. The state has roughly $16 billion in unfunded liabilities, a $10 billion spike over a decade blamed on benefits that increased without offsetting deposits.

With crisis there may be opportunity, however. In recent months, state officials have looked aggressively at improving the funding of its pensions. The retirement age for new employees has been raised and cost-of-living benefits, for the first time, can not be awarded without allocated funding.

Already, $5.5 million has been shaved from liabilities and even the Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System, considered one of the worst-managed funds in the state, could be fully funded within 20 years.

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