Cost for pension system could climb by $85 million

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 | 10:59 a.m. CDT

ST. LOUIS — Pension costs for state workers could grow by up to $85 million next year, and that has officials looking to control costs for Missouri's two largest retirement systems.

The state contributed $375 million this year to the Missouri State Employees' Retirement System and the Missouri Department of Transportation and Highway Patrol Employees Retirement System.

Workers don't contribute any of their salaries to the pension systems, so it's funded entirely through state money and the system's investment income. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday that recent investment losses means the state will spend more.

State Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, serves on the state employees retirement system board of trustees. He says the state likely will need to spend an additional $65 million to $85 million next year.

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