ERS rates continue downward trend

by Paul Heiser

On Board Online • September 18, 2017

By Paul Heiser
Senior Research Analyst

The rate school districts will have to pay to the state Employees' Retirement System (ERS) in 2018-19 will decrease slightly from the 2017-18 rate, the state comptroller's office announced.

The employer contribution rate for 2018-19 will be 14.9 percent of employee payroll, down from 15.3 percent in 2017-18. ERS covers non-instructional school district employees such as food service workers, custodians and secretaries.

The contribution rate is calculated using multiyear projections of the fund's investment returns, employee salary growth, employee retirement or withdrawal rates and other factors. Contributions to ERS are collected each February. Because the rate will decrease, school districts will not be allowed to exempt any expenditures for ERS payments from their tax levy limits in 2018 under the provisions of the tax cap law.

"This is the fifth straight year the contribution rate has gone down," said NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer. "That's a glimmer of good news considering the opposite trajectory health care costs are taking."

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