Michigan’s school pension funding hole just got deeper. As of 2016, the system is $29.1 billion short of the amount its own analysts say is needed to cover future benefits. Last year, the shortfall was $26.7 billion. The new figure means the pension fund has only enough to cover 59.7 percent of the benefits owed to current and future school retirees.
The $29.1 billion unfunded liability is $2.4 billion higher than in 2015. It represents a debt that will cost taxpayers an additional $2.18 billion in annual interest. That’s more than the $2.00 billion the state will spend on its prison system this year.