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Michigan Reveals Post-Detroit Pension Woes

  • Over 110 of the 490 reporting so far have underfunded plans
  • Reports required by new state law aimed at bolstering pensions
Detroit Emptied on Path From Industrial Giant to Bankruptcy

Photographer: Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg

Five years after Detroit became the biggest U.S. city to go bankrupt, leading to cuts in the pension benefits of its retirees, Michigan is learning that the retirement promises made by dozens of other municipalities are far from secure.

Under a new state law, cities, towns and authorities were required this year to submit financial details on the status of their pension and health care plans. The results, so far, are grim: the Michigan Treasury Department found that over 110 -- or more than one fifth -- have underfunded pension or retiree health-care plans.