Saturday, January 31, 2015

Phila city pension shows surprise rebound

50% funded, up from 47%

Phila city pension shows surprise rebound

City Controller Alan Butkovitz tells me the newly-completed annual fiduciary report for Philadelphia's beleagured pension plan for city workers shows a "surprise" improvement in the funded ratio - assets are now 50% of liabilities (corrected), up from 47%, back above the state's danger threshhold - moving the opposite direction from the increasingly cash-strapped Pennsylvania state pension systems.

How's that possible? Butkovitz cites slower-than-expected city payroll growth (just 1% last year, vs. expected 3.5%), a (possibly connected) decline in the cost of future benefits, and "outstanding" investment returns, due to the stock market recovery, of 19.4%.

I'll have to see the report to know more, but any release in pressure on the need to fund future retirements is good news for city taxpayers, workers, services.

Joseph N. DiStefano
About this blog

PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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