Pennsylvania’s school districts can expect to pony up more money to cover for their pension costs next year, but perhaps they can find some relief in knowing it won’t be as much as was previously projected.

The Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System on Friday set the annual employer contribution rate that school districts and the state will pay for the 2020-21 fiscal year, beginning July 1, at 34.51% of schools’ payroll. That is up from this year’s 34.29% rate. That increase will push the total bill that the state and districts share to $4.86 billion – roughly $100 million more than taxpayers paid this year.

But here’s the good news, pension system officials say. It could have been worse. “We know the employer contribution rate remains high, however, the smaller than expected increase should be seen as positive news to employers and policymakers,” said PSERS executive director Glen Grell. “It shows PSERS funding level continues to improve thanks to the ongoing budgetary support of Gov. Wolf and our legislators, and the prudent investment decisions made by PSERS investment professionals and board of trustees.”

Read the whole article in the Harrisburg Patriot-News.

This article quotes selections from “School pension costs to rise about $100 million next year but that’s good news,” by Jan Murphy in the Harrisburg Patriot-News (PennLive), December 6, 2019.