Six Severely Distressed Munis Based on Latest Pension Data
For the fifth time since the enactment of Act 44 of 2009 pension distress scores have been published for municipalities, municipal authorities, and municipal associations submitting actuarial reports to the Auditor General’s office.
Based on the funded ratio (assets/liabilities) of the plans a distress score is given to the local government administering the plans. Over 1,400 municipalities, authorities, and associations received scores this year, and as in previous years, the majority of plans are in good shape (913 had a “not distressed” score and 449 had a “minimally distressed” score).
If all local plans were aggregated in the manner of SERS or PSERS rather than being handled locally, this year the combined local plan would have $16.7 billion in assets and $25.2 billion in liabilities, and would have a funded ratio of 66% and a score of “moderately distressed”. Take Philadelphia’s plans out (together $5 billion in assets and $11.2 billion in liabilities as a “severely distressed” score) and the funded ratio rises to 82%.
Municipalities besides Philadelphia that received a “severely distressed” score include two current Act 47 municipalities (Scranton and Chester), one that has been released from Act 47 (Milbourne) and two others (Shohola and Thornbury).