Wolf’s State Store Plan An Ambitious Cocktail

Gov. Wolf’s budget proposal Tuesday called for a modernization of State Stores to generate $185 million in additional annual profit by fiscal 2018.

The dramatically increased profits would be used to make payments on a $3 billion bond issue designed to help close the $30 billion gap in the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System, according to Wolf’s plan.

Under it, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, endangered by Republican talk of privatizing the system, instead would have a monumental task – assuming it gains General Assembly approval.

Based on the system’s profitability in the year ended June 30, gross revenue from the state’s 600-plus wine and spirits outlets would have to soar to $5.7 billion in fiscal 2018 from $2.3 billion in fiscal 2014 to generate an additional $185 million in profits.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20150307_Wolf_s_state_store_plan_an_ambitious_cocktail.html#rm8GTPsAek3O34kS.99

PSERS Investments Exceed Expectations

Taxpayers and public school employees should expect some good news later this year when one of state’s major public pension systems releases its investment returns for the most recent fiscal year.

The state Public School Employees Retirement System, or PSERS, earned nearly 15 percent during the fiscal year that ended on June 30. A press release on the organization’s website Monday revealed the latest findings.

Exceeding the annual investment earnings assumption of 7.5 percent helps to ease the burden of the unfunded liability that must be made up in the future by some combination of future investment returns, contributions from workers and tax dollars.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/psers-investments-exceed-expectations/article_285ee46e-4e4c-11e4-b1be-001a4bcf6878.html

Pension Crisis About To Explode For Pennsylvania School Districts

School districts across Pennsylvania are getting news that’s unpleasant yet not unexpected.

The Public School Employees Retirement System, or PSERS, last week began sending notices to school districts that their pension costs will climb to 21.4 percent of payroll in the 2014-15 school year.

Even though that total could change a bit before it becomes official at an end-of-year meeting of the PSERS board, it gives a pretty good indication of what school districts are facing.

For historical context, the 21.4 percent figure is the highest rate since at least the 1950s — and it’s quite a jump from the 16.9 percent districts paid this year.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131204/pension-crisis-about-to-explode-for-pa-school-districts

New Report Warns Of Looming Pennsylvania Pension Shortfall

HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett‘s budget office indicated Monday that the governor may attempt to reduce the pensions of current public employees, a politically volatile and legally questionable solution to what has become a $41 billion unfunded liability.

In a new report on the state’s two large public-sector pensions, the budget office warned of the potential for higher taxes, program cuts, lower business growth and steeper borrowing costs because of the state’s financial obligations toward the State Employees’ Retirement System and the Public School Employees’ Retirement System.

The financial pressures from the pension systems have loomed over state finances for more than a decade, and Corbett, a Republican, repeatedly has spoken of a desire to make changes to them.

The report says higher taxes “should be off the table,” but reductions in prospective benefits for current employees should be considered.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=431511