Municipal pension reform bill Floor vote will likely be held off

Municipal pension reform bill Floor vote will likely be held off

While House Bill 316—a bill to substantially reform Pennsylvania’s more than 1,400 municipal pension plans—was moved out of the House State Government Committee Tuesday morning, its consideration on the House Floor will likely be held off until state public pension reform legislation is dealt with by the legislature.

House Bill 316 would require all municipalities to move newly-hired police and firefighters into a cash balance pension system.

“There are no immediate plans [to run the bill] at this particular moment,” said Steve Miskin spokesperson for the House Speaker and Majority Leader. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Turzai on budget talks: “There’s a wide gulf on many issues”

Turzai on budget talks: “There’s a wide gulf on many issues”

Following Tuesday morning’s meeting between legislative Republican leadership and Gov. Tom Wolf, House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) told The PLS Reporter “there’s a wide gulf on many issues.”

“We’re continuing to meet, there’s a lot of issues to cover, a lot of work to do,” he said exiting the meeting.

Also leaving the meeting was House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana) who struck just a slightly more optimistic tone about resolving outstanding issues including pension reform and liquor privatization.

However, he said one sticking point continues to be the exact amount of the deficit that needs to be tackled in the FY 2015-2016 budget, until that can be determined, Rep. Reed said those issues will have to wait.

“We need to figure out what is a structural deficit [and] that folks are actually agreeing on what the numbers are,” he said. “There still is a significant difference between the House and the Senate, where the IFO and where the Budget Secretary is on what an actual budget deficit is.” 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Competing hearings continue House examination of pension reform legislation

Two competing House hearings Thursday continued the examination of Senate Bill 1, the Senate-passed defined contribution pension reform legislation.

Thursday, June 4, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
House and Senate advance defined contribution pension bills

House and Senate advance defined contribution pension bills

Though different in substance, both the House and Senate were active Tuesday in moving bills designed to dramatically reform Pennsylvania’s state-run public employee pension systems.

Furthest along in the process is Senate Bill 1, the Senate Republican caucus’s pension reform plan that would move new employees to a 401(k)-like pension plan and alter the future benefits of current employees by requiring a higher employee contribution or rolling their defined benefit plan structure back to that of pre-Act 9-levels.

After making its way through the Senate Finance Committee yesterday, the legislation was considered Tuesday morning by the Public Employee Retirement Commission.

There, an actuarial note to the legislation was approved that showed the bill could save anywhere between $8 billion and $18 billion depending on which analysis is used.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Senate pension bill’s advance pits plan change vs. plan reform

Senate pension bill’s advance pits plan change vs. plan reform

Senate Bill 1 underwent its first vote Monday, moving out of the Senate Finance Committee along a party-line vote.

The prime sponsor of the bill, Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre), said the legislation is needed to ease budgetary pressures and take risk away from taxpayers into the future by moving new employees to a defined contribution pension plan and away from the defined benefit plan.

The plan will also alter future benefits of current employees by either increasing their contribution amounts to maintain Act 9-levels or roll back the pension benefit to pre-Act 9 levels.

“By doing this, this will reduce the liability of the system significantly as well as provide new revenue for the system which is tremendously needed,” he said. “At the end of the day, what we are doing is achieving some immediate savings and also putting ourselves in a much more predictable system for the taxpayers in the out years by reducing the risk.”

Monday, May 11, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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