The overall funding level for 127 public pension plans surveyed by the National Association of State Retirement Administrators was 87.8% in 2004, down from 91.2% the year before. Overall actuarial liabilities of those plans increased 6.7% to $2.39 trillion, from $2.25 trillion in 2003, while actuarial assets grew just 2.7% to $2.11 trillion from $2.05 trillion.
However, the average funding level of plans in the survey was 85.2% and the median was 86.7%; also, 84 of 119 plans had an actuarial funding ratio of 80% or higher, according to the report. Thirty-five plans had a funding level below 80%, up from 30 in 2003. Eight plans surveyed use a funding method that does not calculate an unfunded liability.
Four plans received pension bond proceeds during their 2004 fiscal years, according to NASRA, with three of them from Illinois — state teachers, state board and state universities. San Diego County Employees Retirement Plan was the other.