Pension bills for New York’s local governments and school districts will rise by a combined total of at least $359 million as a result of the rate increase announced by the state comptroller this week, based on the latest available salary data from the state pension system.  The increases are payable by February 2013, but most counties and municipalities will accrue the added cost next year, while schools will pay the higher rates in their 2012-13 budgets.  (New York City, which has its own pension funds, is excluded from the total.)

The following table estimating the impact of 2012-13 increases tax-funded contributions to the New York State and Local Employees Retirement System (ERS) and Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) updates the one in yesterday’s post here, which did not include schools.

In school districts, the ERS covers custodians, drivers, cafeteria workers and other non-professionals. But a much bigger pension hit on school budgets comes from the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (NYSTRS), whose board recently voted to raise its tax-funded employer contribution rate from 8.62 percent of payroll to 11.11 percent of payroll.  The Empire Center’s “Exploding Pension Costs” report predicts that TRS pension rates could reach 25 percent by 2016.

About the Author

E.J. McMahon

Edmund J. McMahon is Empire Center's founder and a senior fellow.

Read more by E.J. McMahon

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