February 23, 2013

Maine releases data on extra pension costs to schools

LePage has proposed shifting half of the state’s $28.9 million annual cost pension contributions onto local school districts.

By Susan McMillan smcmillan@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — School districts are getting their first look at the potential impact of the state budget on their own bottom lines, including a big shift for pension contributions.

The Maine Department of Education has released preliminary state subsidy figures, including specifics about the teacher retirement costs that districts would be expected to pay under Gov. Paul LePage’s proposed budget.

LePage has proposed shifting half of the state’s $28.9 million annual cost pension contributions onto local schools.

The Maine Department of Education estimated the full cost of normal teacher retirement contributions for each district by multiplying eligible teacher salaries for 2013-14 by 2.65 percent, which is what the state pays now. Teachers pay 7.65 percent of their salary into the state pension fund.

The $14 million additional local cost would be distributed among school districts based on property values, with about 70 of the state’s wealthiest districts bearing the full amount.

Four local districts have normal pension costs above $300,000: Augusta School Department, $310,302; Hallowell-based RSU 2, $330,098; Oakland-based RSU 18, $336,586; and Skowhegan-based RSU 54: $334,279.

The figure for Portland Public Schools, the state’s largest district, is $1.37 million.

It is not clear how much each of those districts would have to pay after adjusting for property valuation.

To view the retirement costs obligation by school district, click here.

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)