US - The strength of the New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF) has enabled the employer contribution rates for the Employees' Retirement System (ERS) and the Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) to be lowered.
It means that for 2009, ERS will drop from 9.6% of the payroll to 8.5%. Meanwhile, the rate for PFRS will decrease from 16.6% in 2008 to 15.7% in 2009.
New York state comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli, said the strength of the US$154.5bn CRF saved taxpayers’ money because it allowed state and local government employers to contribute to the pension fund at a lower rate while making sure the retirement system remained one of the best funded in the nation.
Di Napoli attributed the lower rates to prudent rates and solid investment returns. By comparison, 2009 contribution rates for New York City’s five public pension funds are forecast to range from about 20.3% to 77%.
Last year the CRF posted a 12.58% return on its investments. Together with employee and employer contributions, the system is now funded at 104% of its projected liabilities.
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