Pension Analysis

Act 100 of 2016 transferred the responsibility for providing actuarial notes on legislation proposing changes to public employee pension or retirement plans to the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO). The actuarial notes provide information to the members of the General Assembly and the public regarding the financial and actuarial effects of legislation under consideration.

All actuarial notes issued by the IFO will be posted on this page. The actuarial notes issued by the former Public Employee Retirement Commission (PERC) also will be listed.

IFO Releases

Summary and Analysis of Annual SERS Stress Test Report

December 01, 2022 | Pension Analysis

Pursuant to Act 128 of 2020, the IFO issued a report that summarizes results from the State Employee Retirement System’s (SERS) recent stress test report. Based on SERS baseline projections, the IFO projects that over the next 20 years, Commonwealth agencies will use $17.8 billion in General Fund revenues (1.5%) for employer pension contributions. Relative to baseline projections, the report also summarizes the impact from scenarios that allow investment performance and member salary growth to exceed and fall short of baseline assumptions.

Tags: analysis, pension, sers

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Financial Impact of SERS Pre-Funding Option

June 09, 2022 | Pension Analysis

The IFO published a new research brief that examines the impact of Act 105 of 2019, which allows certain SERS employers the option to pre-fund their unfunded liabilities. The analysis finds that the two participating employers effectively locked in roughly $1 billion of nominal savings over thirty years while all SERS employers are projected to save an additional $300 million (nominal). The savings are due to very strong returns realized on advance payments made in 2020 and 2021.

Tags: brief, pension, research

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Public Pension Status and Outlook

September 28, 2021 | Pension Analysis

The IFO released a research brief that provides a status update and outlook for public pension systems in Pennsylvania. Data for state and local systems show that while the fiscal health of public pension systems has improved in recent years, the overall unfunded liability remains significant.

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Actuarial Impact of Act 5 - School District Pension Contributions

June 28, 2017 | Pension Analysis

Deputy Director Mark Ryan made a presentation to the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) regarding the impact of recently enacted pension legislation (Act 5 of 2017) on school district pension contributions.

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Actuarial Note for Senate Bill 1; A01354 and A01558

June 03, 2017 | Pension Analysis

The actuarial note analyzes a proposal to amend the Public School Employees' Retirement Code and the State Employees' Retirement Code to (1) require most new employees to select one of three new plan design options and (2) make certain actuarial funding changes. The plan design options include two hybrid plans consisting of defined benefit and defined contribution components. The third option is a stand-alone defined contribution plan. 

On June 5, 2017 the IFO updated the actuarial note by clarifiying certain language in the summary of Senate Bill 1. A list of the changes is available here

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Pennsylvania Public Pensions: Background on the Unfunded Liabilities

April 11, 2016 | Pension Analysis

Deputy Director Mark Ryan made a presentation to the Rotary Club of Harrisburg regarding the unfunded liabilities in Pennsylvania's public pension systems. (4/11/2016)

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Shared-Risk Pension Analysis

December 18, 2015 | Pension Analysis

This letter provides a statutorily required report analyzing the implementation of the shared-risk pension provisions introduced by Act 120 of 2010.

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