By Chris Megerian
March 19, 2014, 2:17 p.m.

SACRAMENTO — The longer California’s leaders delay shoring up the cash-strapped teacher pension fund, the more money it will cost taxpayers in the long run, according to an analysis presented to lawmakers on Wednesday.

If lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown eliminate the fund’s $71-billion shortfall over the next 20 years, the extra contributions needed from the state, schools and teachers would total a little more than $180 billion in that time period.

But if they put forward a 60-year plan, the total cost would be $622.8 billion. The analysis was created by the California State Teachers’ Retirement System.

These financial figures lay at the center of the current debate over addressing the pension fund’s shortfall — how quickly should contribution rates be increased to avoid higher costs in future years?

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