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New York State Pension Needs $71 Billion, Group Says

New York state’s $132.8 billion pension plan is underfunded by $71 billion and annual taxpayer payments to keep it sound may more than double to almost $4 billion during the next five years, a report says.

Increased payments are needed by the third-largest U.S. public pension to recover from a 26 percent decline in assets in the year ended March 31, 2009, and to cover benefits lawmakers increased over the past decade, the Empire Center for New York State Policy said.

“The traditional pension system exposes taxpayers to intolerable levels of financial risk and volatility,” said the Albany-based center, which opposes taxes and promotes outsourcing to private companies and reduced spending.

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