June 8, 2016
Joseph N. DiStefano
After failing to meet its 7.5% long-term annual investment target in 4 of the past 8 years, and despite collecting a taxpayer surcharge of 30 cents on top of every $1 paid to the average state worker (or more than 40 cents for State Troopers and elected Senators and Representatives), the State Employees' Retirement System now has just 58 cents in investment assets for every $1 it will need to pay off future pensions.
That's a worse "funded ratio" than during the recession following the 2008-09 stock market collapse.
Unless SERS investment profits spike in the next couple of years, the asset/liability ratio will fall below 50%, the level at which most Pa. town pension plans face a state takeover. But SERS isn't covered by that provision of the state investment laws. Read more in SERS' annual fiduciary report here.