City Pension Plan Not Sitting Well With State

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A plan to generate hundreds of millions of dollars toward the city’s depleted pension fund is not getting high marks from the state.

A new report said that plans to get pensions at least half-way funded are not enough.

City officials are banking on parking meters and parking revenue to help bail the city’s pension fund out of its financial doldrums. But, the state’s top fiscal watchdog is saying, ‘not so fast.’

“I would equate that to the Steelers getting the ball on the 34-yard line after a kickoff, and advancing it to the 50, 53, 54, 57-yard line, and not going all the way for the touchdown,” State Auditor General Jack Wagner said.

Wagner isn’t pulling those numbers out of thin air. In a new audit, he said the city’s pension plan is only 34 percent funded with $339.1 million in assets, but $989.5 million in liabilities.

City Council voted to dedicate future parking tax money towards bailing out the pension fund to avert a state takeover.

Wagner said that wouldn’t have been a bad thing.

“The Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System will require the city to adequately fund the pension system,” Wagner said.

While his office isn’t in the business of making recommendations, he is warning public leaders about one thing.

“Don’t give away the store in labor agreements, don’t give away more than you can afford because that will put the pension plans in a more severe economic position,” Wagner said.

While the debate continues, the Pittsburgh Parking Authority is expected to vote on items including parking fee hikes as soon as next week.


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Pittsburgh City Council
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  • Justice for All!

    I wish the citizens would pay for a pension fund for me.
    I would like to retire with a pension someday soon!
    Where I work they have neither health or pension the only thing they say to me is don’t let the door hit you in the A** on the way out!

    • Robert Helsing

      Why are you mad that someone has a better employment situation then you? Because of poor management by politicians, people like yourself place the blame on the blue collar workers.

    • Boss

      Then you should look for another job.

    • Dan

      WHY doesnt anyone ask where the money from the pension fund went? It didnt just get up and walk out of the fund!

  • Joe

    So instead of addressing the problem of pension plans, they want to half-way fund it and give away further city revenue, and also raise parking prices for city residents? Way to take the lead, Ravenstahl. He’s a joke.

  • JBD

    I never knew there was a “53, 54, 57-yard line” in football…doesn’t make Wagner look very believable.

  • Daniel

    Is case anyone does not know the police and others pay into the fund out of each paycheck. Say you had worked and served the city as a law enforcement officer for well over 20 years and payed almost $150,000 of your pay into this fund with not one cent in interest and have to hear how you are getting a free ride. That is absurd. The employees paid into this fund and had it been properly managed and not spent to run the city then the fund would not be in this poor shape.

    • mike huss


  • Daniel

    I meant “In case”, not is case….sorry.

  • Daniel

    And unlike PAT drivers the City of Pittsburgh Police no longer get health insurance after they retire unless they pay dearly for it. And the dental and vision coverage stinks.

  • Marty's Army

    Marty Griffin has all the answers to the pension problem, just put him in charge

  • critter

    All democrats. U reap what u so.

    • ed

      or sow

  • Daniel

    Did the city ever think of offering a buyout to the senior employees like GM did a few years ago? Here is a lump sum payment and you do not get a pension. Maybe offer that to all of the employees with at least 15 years of service. Offer them the money they have paid in plus 25% to cover interest for example. Not everyone would take it but if anyone did it would help the city. Just a thought.

  • redrock100

    Agreed.Too many city residents are freeloaders. Thanks to the welfare state created by the democrats,its”what can the city give me today”, vs, what can i earn today.

    • Zoeyzotron

      give them a fish, feed them for a day…. teach them to fish, feed them for a lifetime…. Not many fishermen out there anymore…

  • Robert Helsing

    Pittsburgh council members represent roughly 33,967 residents per member compared to Philly where their council members represent 89,000 residents per member. Why are government officials safe from these attacks that are going on against city firefighters,police,and ems workers

  • Redrock100

    Ok Robert. So we reduce council by 2 people. Whats your point? I

  • Zoeyzotron

    Ho hum…. If you did not see an underfunded Pension plan coming then you were just not looking. PENSIONS are UNSUSTAINABLE, period. As inflation rises, even at a normal rate, unemployment stays high (less current workers paying in) and returns diminish on Wallstreet (which is where your pension is) the money will run out.

    But you democrats and unions keep bashing the mouth that FED (past tense)you…..

    Also, I am obviously NOT in favor of a taxpayer bailout.

    Welcome to the world of the 401K (which should have been switched to 15 years ago)

    • Blowyblowfish

      You’re such a moron,you probably live with your parents

      • Zoeyzotron

        Your comment added so much to the discussion… State some facts, or dispute something…

        Or do you just want me to give you a handout to pay for your pension (while I also pay for my own)?

      • Blowy

        I hope you make over 200K voting Republican……A worker voting repub. is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders…….I’ll give you this,the dems are just republican lite…..They both serve the same masters

      • Zoeyzotron

        Blowy – I just don’t know what you want??? Pensions are broke, across the country. They will not be able to recover in this economic state or probably ever. I state why above. Do I wish I had a pension, sure, but I just believe those days are gone forever. Worse than your pension is the fact that OUR (Rep or Dem) government is broke, broke beyond belief. 15.6 Trillion in debt after this fiscal year. Every American will have to participate if we are to remain a super power. People who pay will have to pay more and people who TAKE will have to take much less. Taxing the “rich” alone will not even dent the debt. Government will absolutely have to shrink dramatically and the democrats are completely opposed to this. Democrats (like obama) just think that printing 2 Trillion un-backed dollars is a “good idea”. Have you seen the price of food or fuel lately (oil is traded on the dollar, weak dollar means more of them to buy a barrel) Food has gone up 18% since February 1. Inflation is just beginning and no one’s wages are increasing (stagflation), which is a recipe for a complete financial disaster.

        I may come off harsh sometimes, but I am just looking at mathematical facts. I am worried for our country, that’s it.

        I just believe that the magic money tree is dead. We (the US Government) are gravely close to defaulting. I just don’t think people know what that means…. or worse yet, they don’t care…

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