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Pa. school pension subsidy jumps 50% for 2012

PSERS needs $1.8 billion, up from $1.2 billion last year. Get ready for cost cuts, tax hikes at school districts

The Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System said today it will collect $1.8 billion from state taxpayers and local school districts to fund teacher and other school employee pensions next year, up from $1.2 billion this year.

That works out to a 12 cent surcharge on every dollar paid to school employees, up from around 8 cents this year.

Schools are expected to cut other expenses, or raise taxes, to make up the difference.

The increase would have been even bigger, but for a new state law that spreads the state's responsibility to fill the gap between the pension system's current assets and its expected liabilities, spokeswoman Evelyn Tatkovski told me.