Pension Bills Introduced In Pennsylvania — Governor Tom Corbett was joined by several legislators at the Capitol last week for the introduction of his plan to address rising costs associated with the state’s two public pension systems, the State Employee Retirement System (SERS) and the Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS), reports State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129).
House Bill 1350, and its companion Senate Bill 922, are aimed at providing short- and long-term pension relief, Cox said.
The plan would rebalance the state’s obligations to both pension funds and the General Fund, Cox said. It also would provide short-term budgetary relief to avoid deep cuts in core services and programs. Long-term reforms would produce overall savings to the pension systems.
The legislation contains no changes to current retiree pensions; keeps current employees and retirees in a defined benefit plan; automatically enrolls new employees, including legislators, in a defined contribution plan, similar to a 401(k); and limits the amount by which the state’s employer contributions can be increased to provide short-term budgetary relief.
According to the governor’s budget office, new calculations show the current unfunded liability of SERS and PSERS to be $47 billion. If no reforms are made, pension costs will consume an estimated 60 percent of all new state General Fund revenues in the 2013-14 fiscal year.