Original reporting by Brad Johnson of The Texan. For the full story please see the link below.
Over a dozen local public pension funds in Texas have accounted for less than half of what they’ve promised pensioners, according to data from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.
The 15 pensions have nearly $3 billion in unfunded liabilities — money promised but not currently accounted for in their current budget forecasts. The largest share of the unfunded liability total is the Dallas Police & Fire Pension System, which cannot account for $2.5 billion of promised benefits to its 10,836 members.
The Dallas Police & Fire pension’s amortization rate — the length of time by which it’d take to pay off the current amount owed — is 55 years.
Litigation is ongoing by the pension fund against its former real estate investment firm, The Townsend Group, which is accused of costing the fund $1.2 billion due to poor investing advice.
The City of Paris’ firefighters pension fund is the lowest funded ratio at 30.5 percent, with over $108,000 owed to each of its 98 members.
Paris City Manager Grayson Path and Finance Director Gene Anderson issued a memorandum last month to the city’s mayor and council detailing the pension fund’s woes.
“I learned that we are spending more annually on benefits to current retirees than we are bringing in through collection,” the letter reads.