The drop in global stock and bond values has shaved about $3 billion off the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) during the second quarter, staff and consultants warned trustees in Thursday’s investment meeting.
The fund was worth $34.5 billion at midyear, down from $38 billion three months before, after counting an 8.5% investment loss for the quarter, along with payouts to 130,000 pensioners, and ongoing contributions from taxpayers and 100,000 state workers — lawmakers, judges, college staff, corrections officers, troopers, social workers — who hope to retire someday with pensions from the system.
The fund posted the decline as legislators have been weighing how to cope with pressure to boost pensions for more than 70,000 older state and public school retirees, whose last “cost of living allowance” increases took effect in 2004. Their pension checks, unchanged since that time, are losing pricing power after food, fuel, and other prices rose earlier this year at the fastest rate since the early 1980s.
Author(s): Joseph DiStefano
Publication Date: 23 Sept 2022
Publication Site: Philadelphia Enquirer