For Immediate Release
Oct. 11, 2019
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Public School Employees’ Retirement System
PSERS Board of Trustees Approves 2018-19 audited financial statements
HARRISBURG – The net assets of the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System increased by more than 4 percent to $59.1 billion in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2019, according to the audited financial statements the Board of Trustees approved Friday at a public meeting.
PSERS’ $2.4 billion net asset increase in the 2018-19 fiscal year was generated by solid investment returns and the ongoing budgetary commitment of Gov. Tom Wolf and the Legislature authorizing the state and employers to pay the full amount of the actuarially required contributions. As a result, the System’s funded ratio on a market-value basis improved for the third consecutive year. It went from 54.0 percent to 55.7 percent between the 2018-19 and 2017-18 fiscal years.
“These ongoing declines are a testament to the hard work and dedication of PSERS staff, and, of course, Gov. Wolf, lawmakers in the House and Senate and our employers,” said PSERS Executive Director Glen Grell.
The unfunded liability was caused by a combination of underfunding employer contributions, legislation that increased benefits without funding sources, and periods of extreme market downturns between 2001 and 2016.
“Full actuarial funding is making a positive difference to the health of the System,” said PSERS Chief Financial Officer Brian Carl. “Subject to future investment returns and continued commitment to making employer payments, the funded ratio is expected to climb to 60 percent in the next three years and to 70 percent by 2028.
PSERS is funded by three sources: member contributions (16%), employer contributions (28%) and investment earnings (56%).
The board-approved audited financial statements, which soon will be posted on PSERS’ website -- www.psers.pa.gov -- are a key component of the agency’s annual Comprehensive Financial Report (CAFR). The Board of Trustees will be presented with the CAFR at a Dec. 6 public meeting and then forwarded to Governor Wolf and the House and Senate per state law.