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Keystone Crossroads: Rust or Revival? explores the urgent challenges pressing upon Pennsylvania's cities. Four public media newsrooms are collaborating to report in depth on the root causes of our state's urban crisis -- and on possible solutions. Keystone Crossroads offers reports on radio, web, social media, television and newspapers, and through public events.Our partner stations are WHYY in Philadelphia, WPSU in State College and witf in Harrisburg. Read all of the partner stories here.Pittsburgh’s WQED joins the collaboration as an associate partner. Support for this project comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

With All The Talk About Pension Reform, A Look At Whether Existing Guidelines Are Enforced

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Emily Previti
/
WITF
A view of Shamokin, Pa.

Some Pennsylvania lawmakers say the rules governing public pensions need to change, but not everyone follows the guidelines already in place.

And it looks like they might not have to.

For example: The state audited 325 public safety retirement funds in the past year. More than one quarter of them were cited for awarding pensions in excess of what the law allows, according to an analysis by Keystone Crossroads.

That’s a problem.  But not much effort seems to go into fixing it.

The state Auditor General’s office sends letters to leaders in cities where the violations occur. And that’s about it, even if it’s not the first time.

Shamokin, for instance, has been awarding retiring police officers inflated pensions since in 1998. Maybe it's been going on longer, but that’s the first time it shows up in an audit report.

Read more of this special report at the website of our partner Keystone Crossroads.