Oversight Sought for Pa. Municipal Pensions

August 28, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - State Treasurer Barbara Hafer says Pennsylvania's state pension funds are in good shape - but she's not as certain about the status of municipal pensions within the Keystone State.

Hafer, who chairs the Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) board and is a member of the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) board, notes that the two funds are fully funded at 114% and 110%, respectively, according to Dow Jones.

But Hafer told the Pennsylvania House Special Advisory Committee on Securities in Harrisburg that there’s “a real lack of detailed, current information” on the status of municipal pension funds, according to the report.

She also said the committee should consider legislation to either consolidate local pension plans or strengthen state oversight of the nearly 3,000 municipal pension funds in the state.  Most of those are locally managed – more than four times the number of public employee pension plans in any other state, according to the report.

She cited a report issued last year by a state commission that showed that in 1999, before the bear market, a quarter of Pennsylvania’s local public employee pension funds had unfunded liabilities.