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Springfield Tries To Reduce Large Unfunded Pension Liability

City Hall in Springfield, Ma

Steps are being taken to put more money into the worst-funded municipal pension system in Massachusetts.

Under an agreement worked out with the administration of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno when the current budget was adopted earlier this year, the City Council will vote Monday to put an additional $2 million into the pension fund.

Sarno has said the city is trying to be aggressive to reduce its unfunded pension liability, but there are trade-offs.

"The more aggressive you are  with the pension payoff, the more you have to take from the bottom line of the budget," said Sarno.

The mayor and council struck an agreement to annually use 15 percent of the city’s surplus cash from previous fiscal years to overfund required contributions to the pension system.

The record-setting tenure of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The 2011 tornado and its recovery that remade the largest city in Western Massachusetts. The fallout from the deadly COVID outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. Those are just a few of the thousands and thousands of stories WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill has covered for WAMC in his nearly 17 years with the station.