Oregon pension unfunded liability cut in half

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Strong investment returns and last year's cuts to public-employee retirement benefits have helped cut the Oregon pension system's unfunded liability in half.

Public Employees Retirement System director Paul Cleary spoke Wednesday to a citizen panel that oversees pension fund investments. Cleary says the unfunded liability dropped from $16.3 billion at the end of 2011 to $8.1 billion at the end of last year.

The Oregonian reports (http://bit.ly/Lbwq6T ) that the pension fund now has 87 cents in assets for every dollar of liabilities.

Actuaries say benefit cuts last year shaved $5 billion off the unfunded liability and strong returns over the past two years reduced it by as much as $5 billion. A decrease in the assumed earnings rate increased the unfunded liability by up to $2 billion.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com