Finance Committee approves pension reform bill

Senator Scott E. Hutchinson issued the following statement on passage by the Senate Finance Committee of Senate Bill 922 , legislation he co-sponsored that addresses Pennsylvania’s ongoing pension crisis.

“Under this bill, state employees hired after January 1, 2015 and teachers hired after July 1, 2015 would be enrolled in a defined contribution plan, or 401(a) plan, that is commonplace in the private sector workforce. I want to stress that these changes will only affect new employees. There will be no impact on current state employees or retirees. This will result in essential cost savings for state, county and municipal governments as well as local school districts in the future.

“Allowing the systems to continue at their current pace simply is not an option. If no corrective measures are taken to address Pennsylvania’s looming public pension funding crisis, future funding obligations will severely restrict the Commonwealth’s ability to adequately support important core government functions such as education, human services, law enforcement and emergency services.

“We are also seeing those costs digging serious holes in local budgets as well and the financial issues plaguing many school districts across the state are directly attributed to rising pension liability payments. If unchecked, these costs will impact the quality of life in our communities and the quality of education children receive in Pennsylvania’s classrooms.

“It is also important to note that we are prepared to lead by example in this pension reform effort as Senate Bill 922 would also make participation in the defined contribution plan mandatory for legislators, the Governor, the Attorney General, the Auditor General, and Treasurer upon re-election and the judiciary upon retention.”

Contact:

Justin Leventry
(717) 787-9684