Pa. lawmakers unveil pension reform plan - abc27 WHTM

Pa. lawmakers unveil pension reform plan

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A pair of Pennsylvania lawmakers have introduced legislation to control the state's rising pension costs.

Sen. Mike Brubaker (R-Lancaster) and Rep. Chris Ross (R-Chester) said Tuesday that their plan would not change pension benefits for current retirees or benefits already earned by current state workers and teachers.

The legislation, Senate Bill 922 and House Bill 1350, would change the way current legislators, teachers and state workers earn future benefits.

It also would enroll new employees and teachers, beginning in 2015, into a retirement system similar to the 401(k) plans available in the private sector.

Governor Tom Corbett, who proposed similar pension reform in his February budget address, joined Brubaker and Ross as they introduced their plan.

Without reform, the governor's budget office has calculated that pension costs will consume approximately 60 percent of all new general fund revenues in the 2013-14 fiscal year.

Pennsylvania currently contributes about $1.5 billion combined to the State Employees' Retirement System (SERS) for state workers and the Public School Employees' Retirement System for teachers and other school employees.

Without action, Brubaker and Ross said that contribution is expected to nearly triple to $4.3 billion by 2016.

The lawmakers said their reforms would result in more than $1 billion in savings over five years.

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