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Oklahoma Public Pension Systems Among Nation's Worst

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A national report says Oklahoma has one of the worst public pension systems in the country and its retirement program for teachers will likely be hurt by major income tax cuts. According to an analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts' Center on the States, Oklahoma's long-term pension systems are funded at 59 % as of 2006.

That compares with an over-all percentage of 85 % for the 50 states.

The total pension bill in Oklahoma was set at $27.8 billion, with only $16.4 billion set aside.

The state's pension systems cover public employees, firefighters, judges and teachers.

The report, entitled "Promises with a Price," said Oklahoma has taken steps to reduce the state's pension liability.

But it said "substantial income tax cuts in both 2005 and 2006 "will likely prove hazardous to the health of the teachers' retirement system."

Click here to read the report.
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