BOSTON (CBS/AP) — A new report by the chief of the MBTA says the transit agency’s retirement fund will need $1 billion in additional taxpayer funding over the next 18 years if it is to pay retirees as promised and remain solvent.
Brian Shortsleeve, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s acting general manager, is scheduled to present the report at a public meeting Monday.
He tells The Boston Globe (http://bit.ly/2q99CdO) that in addition to mediocre investment returns, over the last 10 years benefits paid to retirees have exceeded money coming in from the taxpayer-funded transit authority and worker contributions.
Nearly 6,700 retires participate in the $1.5 billion fund.
“They just transferred 272 bodies off their paying roll onto the retirement fund between privatization and layoffs and early-leave incentives,” elaborated Jimmy O’Brien, the Boston Carmen’s Union President.
Options for addressing the gap range from modifying pension benefits, to curbing capital improvement plans or asking the Legislature for fare hikes or cash infusions.
Both sides agree that putting the management of the T’s pension fund under the larger state employee retirement fund is an option worth considering.
Discussion will continue in June.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)