Hawaii public worker pension shortfall grows to $12 billion

Hawaii public worker pension shortfall grows to $12 billion

HONOLULU (AP) - The shortfall in Hawaii's public employees' pension fund has grown to more than $12 billion, meaning taxpayers could have to pay an additional $385 million a year to make up for the budget gap.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that a study release this week by an independent actuary shows the Employees' Retirement System pension fund deficit was up about $4 million from last year.

The $385 million additional contribution from taxpayers would mean taxpayers are putting $1.1 billion toward the pension plan each year.

A bill being introduced by the retirement system to help reduce the shortfall would increase annual employer contribution rates for police and fire workers and raise employer contribution rates for general employees.

Dallas-based actuary Gabriel Roeder Smith & Co. says without the increases, it would take the fund until 2082 to become whole.

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