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Pension System

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NEWS
March 11, 2013 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Third in an occasional series. The biggest item in Philadelphia Mayor Nutter's yearly budget request to City Council this week won't be for police, prisons, or parks. It will be for more than $500 million to stoke Philadelphia's pension system, which pays retirement checks to ex-city workers and their survivors. That pension tab will eat nearly $1 of every $5 the city raises from real estate, wage, business, and sales taxes. That's up from $1 of every $16 a decade ago, noted city Finance Director Rob Dubow.
BUSINESS
April 10, 2005 | By Bob Fernandez INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Proposed changes to the federal pension-insurance system would go a long way toward warding off crisis and avoiding an eventual taxpayer bailout. But the cost of the changes could threaten businesses' ability to offer the very defined-benefit pensions that the proposals are meant to protect. And the Bush administration's proposed changes - introduced in January - have run into broad opposition from corporate lobbying groups and unions. They say changes should be made, but the current proposals could lead to lower pension benefits and overburden weak companies.
BUSINESS
June 7, 2014 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
The City of Philadelphia's pension system hired some new money managers at its regular board of trustees meeting Tuesday, awarding mandates to a number of investment firms, some known locally and others nationally. Pending completion of their contracts, the Board of Pensions and Retirement awarded new mandates to the following active managers in fixed-income, and domestic- and international-equity sectors: In domestic equity (small, mid-, and large capitalization), Brandywine, Lyrical, Hahn, Herndon, GW, and Apex received commitments of money from the city.
NEWS
March 20, 1986 | By Vernon Loeb, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Mayor Goode delivers his annual budget address this morning, he probably will not even mention the city's pension system. It is, after all, one of those fixed costs of doing business, like heating bills and health insurance. But the pension system is expensive - it has cost the city $157 million this fiscal year, close to 10 percent of the entire operating budget. And the pension benefits are generous - among the best money can buy. Simply put, the city spends more than half of all the real estate taxes it collects every year covering the cost of its pension system.
NEWS
February 20, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
WASHINGTON - Gov. Christie said Thursday that he had worked to make New Jersey more affordable during his tenure but warned that growing costs of retiree benefits were crowding out spending for services such as education and health care. Christie's speech came as he prepares to deliver his annual budget address Tuesday to the Democratic-controlled Legislature. "We will continue to resist a tax system in New Jersey which is unfair to our citizens," Christie said at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel.
NEWS
June 12, 2014 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Tackle the state's pension problem. Then we'll talk. So said Gov. Corbett in a message to legislators Tuesday, laying out a road map of how he expects budget talks to proceed over the next few weeks. In a brief interview with reporters, Corbett said that if the GOP-controlled legislature moves on a bill to change the state's pension system for future state and school employees, he will consider tax-increase proposals to plug the budget gap. Sluggish tax collections have left Corbett's $29.4 billion proposed budget out of balance by at least $1.2 billion.
NEWS
October 17, 1986 | By BOB WARNER, Daily News Staff Writer
A bill to create a two-tiered city pension system - with reduced benefits for new city workers hired from 1987 on - was proposed yesterday by the Goode administration. The measure would bring Philadelphia into compliance with a new state law designed to provide more solid financing for municipal pension systems throughout the state. City officials were unable to provide any specific projections on the financial impact of the proposal, citing uncertainty over the number of future city employees, future salary levels and other variables.
NEWS
January 4, 2010 | By Thomas J. Gentzel
Dec. 11 began what could be a catastrophic era for Pennsylvania taxpayers. The Board of Trustees of the Pennsylvania School Employees Retirement System (PSERS) voted to increase the employer contribution rate to 8.22 percent of payroll for 2010-11, a 72 percent increase from this year's rate. Those percentages will continue to climb, reaching a projected rate of near 30 percent of payroll by 2012-13 and are estimated to remain above 20 percent for nearly two decades. How much will school property tax bills increase to fund this unsustainable expense?
NEWS
March 5, 2010 | By Tom Infield INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Republican and Democratic candidates for governor, all together for the first time last night, bemoaned one of the most pressing issues facing the state's next chief executive - the looming pension crisis. But they offered no certain solutions. When Gov. Rendell's second term ends in January, he will leave state government with a $20 billion pension gap. Although taxpayers are scheduled to pay $1.3 billion next year to help fund the pension system for state and school employees, that amount may have to grow severalfold in order to avoid default.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
August 12, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Gov. Christie took action Monday on 40 bills and resolutions, ranging from a law he says will help drug addicts to measures addressing dogfighting, gun rights, and the underfunded pension system for public workers. Among the 27 bills and resolutions Christie signed into law is a measure that allows the state to issue apprentice hunting licenses to applicants 11 to 15 years old who have not completed safety training, provided that they are accompanied by someone who is 21 or older and has a hunting license.
NEWS
August 7, 2015
THE U.S. ATTORNEY'S Office in Philly recently made itself a laughingstock with its relentless pursuit of the utterly irrelevant Joey Merlino for the outrageous criminal outrage of having a scotch and a cigar with a guy he knew 30 years ago. The Chaka Fattah indictment is somewhat less amusing, however. That this is purely a political vendetta cannot be doubted. The velvet glove came off for all to see when Sen. Menendez was indicted - another guy who was "being investigated" for years but then suddenly was indicted when the president's Iran deal was about to be finalized and it became clear Menendez would be the loudest Democratic vote against it. There are Democrats who are concerned about national security, but they now seem rather muted in their criticism over the prospect of a nuclear Iran 10 years from now. I wonder why that happened, don't you?
NEWS
August 1, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
The New Jersey Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to a 2011 law that suspended retirees' cost-of-living adjustments as part of an overhaul of the pension system for public workers. That same law was recently scrutinized in a high-profile case, in which the court struck down a provision granting public workers a contractual right to pension funding. Public-sector unions had argued that Gov. Christie violated workers' constitutional rights by underfunding the pension system last fiscal year.
NEWS
July 31, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney said Wednesday that the federal government should provide low-interest loans to states struggling to pay down their pension obligations, the latest proposal to shore up benefits for public workers. Sweeney (D., Gloucester), who wants a $50 billion loan for New Jersey with an interest rate of 1 percent to 2 percent, said the federal program would help states and local governments with underfunded pension liabilities restore their retirement systems to fiscal health.
NEWS
June 28, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - Gov. Christie on Friday signed a $33.8 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins Wednesday, vetoing tax increases passed by the Legislature to fund the pension system but extending an olive branch to Democrats by proposing an increase in a tax credit for the working poor. Christie used his line-item veto authority to nix measures passed by the Democratic-controlled Legislature to raise taxes on income exceeding $1 million and on corporations, which Democrats said would have generated more than $1 billion in revenue.
NEWS
June 27, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - New Jersey lawmakers passed a $35.3 billion budget Thursday along party lines that Democrats say makes a full contribution to the pension system for public workers, even as Gov. Christie is almost certain to veto the tax hikes that help fund it. Christie said on NJ 101.5's Ask the Governor program Thursday evening that the Legislature appeared to be adopting "another ridiculous budget. " Of the lawmakers, Christie said: "I think it's safe to say they have spent a lot of money that we don't have.
NEWS
June 25, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - New Jersey Democrats' top priority in passing a budget for the fiscal year that begins next Wednesday is to make a full contribution to the underfunded pension system for public workers. They have taken familiar steps to accomplish this, such as pushing legislation that would raise taxes on the state's highest earners and on corporations. Those components are part of a budget they advanced in committee Tuesday, setting up a full vote by the Legislature on Thursday. But Democrats also used a slick accounting maneuver to say they are making the full $3.1 billion payment for fiscal 2016, as was required by a 2011 law. (A state Supreme Court decision this month struck down that requirement.)
NEWS
June 24, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - New Jersey Democrats on Monday unveiled the broad contours of the budget they will submit to Gov. Christie, saying they would make a full contribution to the underfunded pension system by raising taxes on businesses and the state's highest earners. Christie, a Republican who says he will announce whether he is running for president by the end of the month, has vowed not to raise taxes. The state constitution requires the Legislature to pass, and the governor to sign, a balanced budget by next Tuesday.
NEWS
June 15, 2015 | By Maddie Hanna and Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
When New Jersey's high court ruled last week that Gov. Christie had the authority to cut billions from payments he had promised the state pension system, it spared the governor a massive budget shortfall as he prepares to announce a presidential decision. Though the legal victory over public-worker unions averted immediate crisis, it did not relieve Christie - or state lawmakers - of a reality less worthy of campaign-trail celebration: an unfunded pension liability that continues to strain the state budget and funds for many workers at risk of running out of money within the next decade.
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