Pennsylvania Schools Feeling Pension Pinch

Pension payments for school districts have increased significantly in the last decade.  CREDIT: Lancaster Online

Pension payments required of school districts have increased significantly in the last decade.
CREDIT: Lancaster Online

Pension costs have skyrocketed over the last decade for Pennsylvania public school districts, as the state’s pension liabilities and the contributions required from schools have both increased dramatically. From Lancaster Online:

The key concern is the underfunded Pennsylvania School Employees Retirement System. Due mainly to past actions by the Legislature — under both Democratic and Republican control — the statewide pension program currently carries a nearly $50 billion liability.

To make that up, districts have seen the amount they’re forced to pay skyrocket over the past several years.

– Elanco has seen its contributions rise from $350,000 in 2004 to $3.1 million in 2014.

– Lampeter-Strasburg had its payments grow from $325,000 in 2004 to $2.2 million in 2014.

– Hempfield has stretched those costs from nearly $1.5 million in 2004 to $5.4 million in 2014.

– Penn Manor was forced to increase that portion of the budget from just over $1 million in 2004 to $6.3 million in 2014.

Pennsylvania’s Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) was 66.3 percent funded as of 2012.

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