In the 2011-12 budget year, Pennsylvania contributed about $1.07 billion to the Public School Employees' Retirement System and the State Employees' Retirement System, according to the Office of the Budget.
In the current budget year, the state's obligation increased $256 million for PSERS and $209 million for SERS. Total pension contributions are $1.53 billion.
Spending in the general fund budget increased by $371 million from the previous year, and the increase in pension contributions accounted for most of that, Budget Secretary Charles Zogby said in recent testimony before the state Public Employee Retirement Commission.
The other spending increases were for required debt-service payments on bonds previously issued to fund capital projects and additional funding to support financially distressed municipalities and school districts, Zogby said.
State contributions are expected to increase about $670 million in next year's budget. By 2017-18, the commonwealth's total contribution is projected to be about $4.69 billion.