Oklahoma’s public pension system is comprised of seven separate plans, including the Public Employee Retirement Systems (PERS) and the Teachers’ Retirement System of Oklahoma. The pension systems are funded in part by a dedicated revenue stream made up of 5% of all sales, use, and income taxes collected by the state, as well as 1% of all cigarette tax collections and 5% of all lottery earnings. Additionally, since 2013, the Oklahoma Pension Stabilization Fund has served to shore up underfunded pension accounts, using surplus state revenue.
Underfunded pension liability remains a major concern for the state’s long-term fiscal health, especially as more public employees reach retirement age. However, since 2010 the unfunded liability of all seven of the state’s public pension plans has significantly decreased. As of Fiscal Year 2018, two of the plans are fully funded and an additional three are over 90% funded. Overall, the state’s public pension liabilities are over 81% funded, compared to the national average public pension funding level of only 72%. The pension funds for teachers and firefighters remain the least funded, at 72.9% and 68.1%, respectively.
Explore Oklahoma’s seven public pension plans’ funding levels between 2010 and 2018 using the interactive graphic below: