Solid investment returns over the past year have provided stability for Iowa's largest public employees' pension fund, although its unfunded liabilities declined only slightly to $6.8 billion, according to report issued Thursday.
The actuarial study for the Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System, which has 360,000 members, showed the system's long-term unfunded liabilities will get worse before they get better, edging closer to $7 billion over the next five years. But then the unfunded liabilities are expected to gradually decline until reaching zero in 2046.
IPERS' members include current, former and retired employees of state government, cities, counties, school districts and other government agencies. The new report arrived just one month after the end of November's general election campaign, which saw the future of the state's public pension system becoming a hot topic of debate.