Sarvis' report compared states from worst to best, and while
Deputy Commissioner of Revenue Mark Muchow said that's because the state has made "significant improvements in the last 20 years."
The report -- "Understanding Public Pension Debt" -- says that most states project a 7 or 8 percent return, which leads to lower government contributions in anticipation of making up the difference with high returns to close the gap.
"This past year somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 percent," Muchow said.
The pension fund has recovered, for the most part, from the recent recession, he said, and the state now realizes some pension funds that are nearly or fully funded, including the
Pension funds are invested in a variety of ways, including stocks and bonds, he said.
"A number of teachers in the early '90s were not sure they were going to get their pensions," Muchow said. "Confidence in the system has been greatly enhanced in recent years."
Muchow said the state's hiring freeze won't have much effect one way or the other on the fund, but demographics will.
"The ratios of active employees to retirees has been falling over time," he said. "State employment has not grown a whole lot."
According to the West Virginia Consolidated Public Retirement website,
But that doesn't necessarily mean that the funds will reach 100 percent in the near future.
"You never really expect the pension fund to get to exactly 100 percent," he said.
The teachers' retirement fund is expected to get to that level in 2034, and for other public employees in 2035, he said.
Understanding Public Pension Debt was produced by the
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