Pension Rate To Rise In 2011, Giving Local Budgets Much More Trouble

There’ll be extra pressure on local government and school budgets in 2011.

The share that local governments, and thus, taxpayers, pay into the retirement funds of their public employees is going up sharply. The retirement fund used my most state-system retirees will require local governments to pay 11.9% of the tab in 2011, up from 7.4% for 2010. And the fund for police and fire retirees will require an even bigger contribution, 18.2%, from 15.1% in 2010.

Because employee salaries are often the largest portion of a government or school budget, the increase will force local governments to make hard choices about cutting services or jobs to make up the difference.

The cause of this financial distress is the collapse of the stock market in 2008 and early 2009. Pension funds are invested and all investments saw very large decreases.

The rates are set ahead of time to give local governments time to plan for them. They’re based on a three-year rolling average, which is why the Wall St. meltdown of 2008-09 is not showing up in reimbursement rates until 2011.

“While the pension fund has handled the market collapse better than most other public funds, there is no question that it’s been hit by the crumbling economy,” State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said. His office sets the contribution rate each year. “The Retirement System’s Actuary has determined that employer contribution rates have to increase.”

AUDIO: Comptroller DiNapoli explains the rate increase.


  1. Oh? But recently in the comment section on this website, several OCTA supporters stated I was wrong and that the property taxpayers pay nothing into the teacher pension system. The size of personnel in all property-tax supported entities needs to go down. For cities and counties, that means cutting services. For the school district, that means requiring teachers to do more work than 3 hours and 20 minutes per day. It also means closing 1 or 2 elementary schools. On the state level, we need to start requiring all of the bloodsuckers to pay New York State income tax on their pensions. And all tax-levying institutions need to stop giving pay raises to their employees, especially to the tune of 22% like Oswego’s teachers are in the midst of receiving. The taxpayers have to pay more but I bet the public employees will continue to have the same amount taken out of their paychecks. If they want to live in the lap of luxury during their retirement, they need to contribute more for themselves.

    I am so sick of paying more taxes to go straight to the pockets of do-nothing teachers, school administrators, politicians, city, county and state “work”ers. New York State accomplishes nothing but taxes. Oswego County accomplishes nothing but nepotism. Oswego City accomplishes nothing period. Oswego City School District and its pitiful staff of “teachers” accomplishes nothing but a 33% dropout rate. Socialism will soon prevail in this country. The private sector simply cannot survive in trying to fund these people and their lifestyles.

  2. Here’s a thought…do away with pensions altogether…if these public employees want a good retirement, then let them fund their own with the extravagant paychecks they get…just like we in the private sector have to do with menial paychecks! Buncha bloodsuckers! Joe Taxpayer cannot afford this crap anymore!!

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