Municipal Pension Funds Losing Ground

June 7, 2010 ( – A new study of municipal finances finds that most major U.S. cities suffered a “marked deterioration” in their pension funding status from a median of 79% in 2008 to 64% a year later.

The research, by The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Philadelphia Research Initiative, found that in most cases, the shortfall will require officials to shift funds away from city services into pension programs.

The study found Seattle had the biggest decline, down 22 points to 64%. Pittsburgh’s pension was in the worst shape at 34% funded. Los Angeles’ was in the best shape at 90%, while Philadelphia’s ratio fell from 55% to 45%.

The review examined Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Columbus (Ohio), Detroit, Kansas City (Missouri), Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Philadelphia.

The report is available here