Surplus could provide short-term pension relief in PA

Written by The Associated Press | Apr 12, 2013 11:01 AM

(Harrisburg) -- Smaller-than-expected payrolls for many Pennsylvania school districts are producing a surplus of state funds earmarked for pension reimbursements that could help ease the commonwealth's public-pension woes.

The state's main teacher pension fund says the reimbursements left $69 million of last year's allocation unspent. Pension officials say the trend appears to be continuing and lawmakers may have an extra $140 million to spend in the year that starts July 1st.

The state reimburses districts for a percentage of payroll. If payrolls shrink, so do the payments.

Some legislators want to plow the money into the taxpayers' share of pension costs instead of refinancing that obligation, as Governor Corbett proposes to help balance the state budget. His long-range plan also would cut future pension benefits for current employees.

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