Lemoyne (1.30.12) – A number of news outlets have started to report about the drastic contribution spike taxpayers will be forced to make Pennsylvania’s woefully underfunded pension system.
From the Pittsburgh Tribune Review:
“The Corbett administration is projecting that its school employee pension obligations will rise by $320 million next year — or more than 50 percent — after more than doubling in this fiscal year.
Rising pension obligations are being driven, in part, by lackluster investment performance on the money being paid into the system and a 2001 law under then-Gov. Tom Ridge that guaranteed 50 percent pension increases for most legislators and 25 percent increases for more than 300,000 state workers and teachers.
This won’t be the last time school districts must wrestle with pension costs: The school employees’ retirement system estimates that the cost to the state and school districts will triple in four years and then stay at that level until 2035.”
And, yes you read that correctly.
In 2001, members of the legislature voted to increase their own pensions by 50 percent and that of state workers by 25 percent. This generosity and an unwillingness to pay for it, has left the state pension underfunded by between $13.7 billion and $114 billion depending on who you ask. To put those astronomical numbers into perspective, it will cost every household in Pennsylvania $1500 per year just to fund the pension. (The PA Independent has a great round up of some of the other figures.)
As your property taxes and other state taxes explode over the next few years, it is important for you to know who to “thank” for voting to increase their own and public employee pensions. To save you the trouble of sifting through the 2001 House and Senate Journal for the Act 9 (HB 26), here are the respective “AYE” votes:
|Baker, J.||Evans, J.||Manderino||Shaner|
|Baker, M.||Fairchild||Markosek||Smith, B.|
|Bard||Feese||Marsico||Smith, S. H.|
|Costa||Kukovich||Punt||White, Mary Jo|
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