The Pennsylvania Pension Crisis: How Did We Get Here?

May 16, 2013

In recent years, the Public School Employees Retirement System went from 123 percent funded in 2000 to an 81 percent funding level six years later. The State Employees Retirement System has had a similar fate. The Corbett administration has introduced legislation to reform the pension systems, but unions argue the governor's plan violates the state constitution.
Credit 90.5 WESA

Gov. Tom Corbett and his allies in the state Legislature have introduced controversial legislation to reform the pension systems for state employees and public school teachers.

The sponsors say the bills make necessary cuts to reduce the state’s massive liability problem. Unions argue that the measures are illegal because they cut current workers’ future benefits.

To get a handle on how Pennsylvania’s two public pensions ended up in their current funding crisis, one has to look more than a decade into the past.

WESA reporter Noah Brode takes us on a trip down memory lane, with a feature about the makings of Pennsylvania's pension funding crisis.