CHICAGO — The recession and market downturn has profoundly affected the funded status of state pension plans, driving up some states’ overall debt levels and putting some credits at risk, Loop Capital Markets LLC analysts warn in new report.

The overall level of state economic debt — made up of general fund deficits, bonded debt and pension obligations — has risen significantly. The 10 states with the highest level of debt experienced on average a 6.3% increase over last year, according to Loop’s 2009 special commentary on state pension funds. Analysts reviewed 241 individual plans.

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