Pennsylvania's budget secretary ruled yesterday that a $125 million Philadelphia pension fund payment due this month would put the city in "imminent danger" of default, so city officials can wait until October to pay the bill.

Michael Hershock, the state budget secretary, made the ruling according to the provisions of legislation passed in Harrisburg earlier this month designed to address the city's cash flow crisis. That legislation, which also created a fiscal oversight board to issue deficit bonds on the city's behalf, provided for a pension fund deferral if state officials determined debt service was at risk.

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