Pittsburgh pension funds hit ‘milestone’ after years of lagging behind |

Pittsburgh pension funds hit ‘milestone’ after years of lagging behind

Bob Bauder
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Paul Leger, Pittsburgh's director of finance, listens during the Comprehensive Municipal Pension Trust Fund board meeting at the City-County Building. (Trib photo)

Pittsburgh’s employee pension funds are growing again thanks to an uptick in financial markets, the Comprehensive Municipal Trust Fund board reported Wednesday.

The city’s invested portfolio for police officers, firefighters and municipal workers earned 12.2 percent during the 12 months ending in July, according to the board’s executive director, Paul Leger, who also serves as Pittsburgh’s finance director.

Returns from market investments had been flat over the past two years.

Leger said the funds totaled $723 million. That includes $297.5 million, the estimated value of future parking tax revenue pledged over 30 years to the pension funds.

Pittsburgh has 60 percent of the money needed for $1.2 billion in pension obligations for current and future retirees, Leger said.

“This is really a major milestone to hit 60 (percent),” he said.

The pensions funds last reached the 60 percent funded range in 2013, the year before Mayor Bill Peduto took office.

Pittsburgh in 2010 narrowly avoided a state takeover of pension funds by dedicating parking taxes to put the funds above a state-mandated level of 50 percent of what was then $1 billion in obligations.

Those obligations since have increased.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter @bobbauder.

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