Auditor General Says Bristol Borough is Shorting Employee Pension Plans
Updated: 1 am Monday
A published report in the Philadelphia Sunday Sun says a recent state audit shows Bristol Borough is shorting payments to its employee pension plans.
According to the report, issued by Auditor General Timothy L. DeFoor, audits illustrate municipalities in 11 counties failed to make required employer contributions to their employee pension plans, with Bristol Borough topping the list.
‘The borough owes more than $757,836 in required contributions, including interest, to its police and employee pension plans for 2019 and 2020,’ DeFoor said in the report.
Of note, the Bristol Borough Police Pension Plan & Bristol Borough Employee’s Pension Plan is owed $375,727; employee plan is owed $382,108.
The Auditor General examines municipal pension plans that receive state aid to ensure the plans are being administered in accordance with Pennsylvania law.
10 additional counties are highlighted in the auditor generals report for shorting payments to employee funds.
DeFoor warned local governments they cannot use federal COVID relief funds to catch up on missed payments.
“My audit team is seeing a troubling rise in the number of municipalities that are failing to fully fund their employee retirement plans as state law requires,” DeFoor said. “I’m again warning municipalities that they cannot use federal COVID relief funds provided under the American Rescue Plan to catch up on past pension debts,” he said in a July 21st press release.
Municipalities that do not make the employer contributions required by law run the risk of having future state pension aid withheld, DeFoor, said.
The Auditor General distributed a total of $324.74 million in state pension aid to 1,483 municipalities and regional departments to support pension plans covering police officers, paid firefighters and non-uniformed employees. The funds are generated by a 2 percent tax on fire and casualty insurance policies sold in Pennsylvania by out-of-state companies, according to state data for 2020.
The required employer contributions to municipal pension plans are known as Minimum Municipal Obligations (MMOs). Recent audits with findings involving missed MMO payments, plus interest owed, are listed at the end of this article.
Bristol Borough Police Benevolent Association President, Sgt Joe Moors did not reply to requests for comment on Sunday evening about the report.
Verona Borough Police Pension Plan – Finding: Plan is owed $86,174.
Parks Township Police Pension Plan – Finding: Plan is owed $8,007.
Sharon Hill Borough Police Pension Plan – Finding: Plan is owed $229,588.
Lynn Township Non-Uniformed Pension Plan – Finding: Plan is owed $35,811.
South Whitehall Township Non-Uniformed Public Works Plan – Finding: Plan is owed $164,237.
City of Pittston Police Pension Plan – Finding: Plan is owed $218,102.
Penn Township Police Pension Plan – Finding: Plan is owed $2,762.
Norwegian Township Police Pension Plan – Finding: Plan is owed $170,419.
City of Arnold Aggregate Pension Trust Fund – Finding: Plan is owed $4,685.