Another year older and deeper in debt

It looks like we will need to update our banner that shows El Paso’s local government debt totals.

The city’s 2015 comprehensive annual financial report showed the total pension liability at about $392 million.

The external audit for 2016 reports different numbers.  The audit firm pegged the 2015 liability at $417.5 million.

Getting worse

Unfortunately the audit tells us that the 2016 figures are even worse.

The city employee’s pension fund net liability increased from $126.7 million in 2015 to $195.1 million in 2016.  The 2016 number is 153.9% greater than the 2015 number.

The fire pension net liability grew from $105.8 million to $162.6 million, or 153.6%.

Police pension net liability grew from $185.0 million to $212.7 million, yielding 114.9%.

Our combined liability stands at $570.4 million.

Look for yourself

We deserve better


5 Responses to Another year older and deeper in debt

  1. I’m not sure what they mean by a pension fund liability. Does this mean that the City doesn’t really match pension contributions, but only issues an IOU? Frankly, imho, a properly funded pension fund should have no liabilities, but only assets.


    • Brutus says:

      That is money that will be needed to pay what has been promised to the retirees.


      • IOW, their matching portion of employees’ pension. The pension fund is supposed to be maintained separately from any City funds, and the City should be paying as they go, just like the employees. A properly run pension fund should not be dependent on any monies owed to it in future, because it is supposed to be receiving money from employer and employee, and investing that money to earn interest to fund future needs.


  2. Gee Whiz! says:

    Oops! Just more examples of the fuzzy math used in the past to keep taxpayers at bay.


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