NY pension investment gains a boon for governments


Associated Press

Investment gains at New York's pension fund are giving state and local governments some breathing room, according to new numbers from Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

DiNapoli announced Tuesday that the contribution rates paid by state and local governments for their employees' pension costs will decrease for fiscal year 2015-16. The average rate will decrease from 20.1 percent of salary for most public workers to 18.2 percent. For police and firefighters, the employer rate will drop from 27.6 percent of payroll to 24.7 percent.

The reduction comes after the state's pension system hit a record high of $180.7 billion following a 3.6 percent return on investment in the most recent quarter. For the fiscal year that ended March 31, the fund reported a 13 percent return on investment.

"Our goal is to keep a smart investment strategy," DiNapoli told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "We're well-funded, and our fund is strong."

The state's pension plan is now 92.2 percent funded. That's an increase from 88.7 percent, and it puts New York well above funding levels in most states.

In 2012, only six states — Oregon, Washington, North Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin and South Dakota — had funding levels of 90 percent or more, according to an analysis by Standard and Poor's. More recent numbers for all 50 states aren't yet available.

The level represents the percentage of a pension fund's total obligations that are funded. It is viewed as a critical indicator of a state's pension system.

New York's pension system had a funding level that exceeded 100 percent before the downturn. It fell to 87.3 percent in 2012 before rising again.

Read more Breaking News - Business stories from the Miami Herald

 Fracking is also known as horizontal natural gas drilling. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

    Scientists: Bad fracking wells taint water

    Faulty fracking wells are to blame for drinking water contamination in Texas and Pennsylvania, according to new findings from researchers at five universities.

Ramon Rodriguez, left, and Rafael Limones hold signs in protest. Construction workers and supporters met to demand payment for building the BuckeyeTrail Commons apartments from general contractor Siltek Group on Sept. 24, 2013, in Dallas, Texas.(Ron Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT)

    Labor Department announces grants to fight tax cheats

    The U.S. Department of Labor on Monday awarded $10.2 million to nearly two dozen states to beef up enforcement of a labor scheme that companies employ to evade their tax obligations.

  • Report: Wealth gap could threaten Indiana revenues

    A new report says Indiana is among the top 10 states most reliant on sales taxes for their revenue, but a growing wealth gap between its richest residents and everyone else could put an increasing strain on the state's revenue system.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category