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State Pension Gaps Shrink for First Time Since 2007: Muni Credit

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U.S. state pension plans are strengthening for the first time in six years as rising contributions and rallying stocks ease a fiscal strain that’s vexed municipal leaders since the recession.

The median state system last year had 69.3 percent of the assets needed to meet promised benefits, up from 68.7 percent in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It was the first increase since the start of the 18-month recession that ravaged retirement assets and led some officials to skip payments as tax revenue sank. Illinois and New Jersey, with the weakest state credit ratings, saw funding levels set new lows for the period.