Lawmakers weigh response to pension system decline

Cheyenne, Wyo. – Wyoming lawmakers are considering how to increase contributions to the state's public employee retirement system.

The value of the retirement system fell from $6.3 billion at the start of 2008 down to $4.6 billion last January in the recession. It's now climbed back up to $5.6 billion.

A state consultant has estimated that contributions need to increase by 2.87 percentage points to keep the retirement system healthy over the long term.

Members of the Joint Appropriations Committee agreed on Wednesday to consider a bill next month that would require the state put up nearly $50 million to increase retirement funding over the next two years. They will consider another bill that would increase state employee contributions to cover half that amount.