The underfunded retirement system that provides pensions for police officers of the Port of New Orleans could run out of money in 2020, the Louisiana legislative auditor’s office said in a report issued Monday. It said the Harbor Police Retirement System was only 56% funded as of fiscal 2010, with benefit liabilities of $21.3 million and assets of $11.8 million.

The report said the system is “not effectively and efficiently administered.”

The analysis was requested by the Port of New Orleans, which sponsors the retirement plan and is responsible for shortfalls in pensions and benefits.

The retirement system has 36 active members and 36 retirees, survivors and beneficiaries.

It is funded through an employee contribution of 9% of annual salaries and a 20% contribution from the port, the highest level allowed under state law.

Auditors suggested that either the employer contribution level be increased or the pension system be merged with the Louisiana State Employees’ Retirement System.

A merger would require a $5.4 million one-time payment by the port.

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