Thursday, November 04, 2010

to parse the imparseable dream

Well... way up on the Ambien scale is the latest actuarial report on the City of Pittsburgh pension system. 

Here is the much anticipated: Special Study on the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System's Integration of Administrative Services. Such a boring piece of ephemera you would think with a title like that. Never has so much rested on what so few can make sense of.   I will get around to adding it to  my policy documents page and also the iPension page for posterity's sake if you ever need to find it in the future.
You really need to wade through a lot to get to the points that are buried in all of that. What are the crib notes?   I distill the whole thing down to two factoids.   One is that there is a scenario in there,  the likely scenario I think, that there will be a point in just a few years that the city's minimum municipal obligation will rise from $38 million annually presently, to $127 million in 2017 and even rising to $159 million annually in 2030.  

As incomprehensible as those numbers are, it gets worse.  There is a scenario, again the most likely scenario I think, that says this: 
....the Systems will be in a high risk period for the potential of running out of money because of funding relief and delay in MMO application.  (see bottom of page 15 per the page numbering, or page 19 per the PDF numbering)
What?  Huh?   Who said that?

Remember, it is irresponsible to cry "fire" in a crowded theater.

and apologies to Mitch Leigh... and I suppose Jim Nabors.


Blogger Bram Reichbaum said...

Our present MMO is just $38 million? Have I been looking at the "MMO+" we've been paying?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010 11:39:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

Give me a reference for what you are refering to and I can try and answer that.. But it (the MMO) was technically even half that just a few years ago.. Under $19 mil in 2003. A chart of that is one of the figures here:

It is a bit more complicated than that, like all things. If you really look at what the city needs to pay in from its own resources beyond the part city workers themselves contribute toward pensions.. the increase has been even faster. Couple in generally lower state help toward pensions (which is applied to the MMO) and the actual $ hit on the city budget is jumping pretty fast each biennial cycle.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010 11:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Current MMO that the City pays is $45 million. That's from Mercer and Mockenhaup - NOT PMRS. MMO+ is either $10 million or whatever gets to $60 million, depending on who you ask.

Thursday, November 04, 2010 9:45:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

depending on who you ask.

I like that.. I think that is the motto of the city's budget process.

Thursday, November 04, 2010 9:56:00 AM  

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