A Letter Sent to My Colleagues in the Legislature

January 22, 2011

Fellow Legislators,

Please take the opportunity to look at this important study by the Pew Center on the States on underfunded state pension systems that is crucial to our state’s future economic health. According to the study, "In eight states—Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and West Virginia—more than one-third of the total liability was unfunded,” a fact which has lead Northwestern University professors to predict that these state pensions may go bankrupt by 2019.

Interestingly, there are currently seven states which impose no income tax: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming (New Hampshire and Tennessee impose taxes only on interest income and dividends). The majority of these states have managed to fund their employee pensions at between 80% and 100%. Many of them are also featured regularly as some of the best states in which to retire, according to top retirement investment plans.

This point is further substantiated by today’s release of census data that shows a shift in population to states without an income tax.  In fact, the greater majority of those states that will gain between two and four seats in the next Congress do not impose a state income tax.


State Senator Toni Boucher
Toni Boucher
State Senator

For those interested, click here for the entire Pew Report.
Information pertaining to Connecticut’s total pension liabilities may be found on page 18 of the report.