As Pension Costs Grow, Some Local Governments Turn To Borrowing

By Joseph Spector, Albany Bureau Chief

ALBANY – Some local governments plan to borrow to pay their pension bills this year as a way to stave off growing retiree costs.

Local governments, including for the first time the city of Elmira and Westchester County, said the amortization of pensions costs may not be the most prudent course, but it’s their only remedy to balance their books. Monroe County also plans to amortize some pension expenses.

“This pension system in New York is just out of control,” said Dave Vandermark, Elmira’s financial officer.

According to the state’s Comptroller Office, 87 public employers indicated last month that they will borrow $185 million from the state’s pension fund to pay for a portion of their annual pension tab.



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