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

Another pension reform plan to enter the mix

Rep. John McGinnis (R-Blair) announced Thursday morning that—much like the Senate Republicans—he will be unveiling his pension reform plan at a news conference next week.

Rep. McGinnis’s House Bill 900 is said to pay off Pennsylvania’s unfunded pension liability over the next 20 years with level funding.

Earlier this year, Rep. McGinnis previewed the legislation by holding a press conference stating any true pension reform that will attack Pennsylvania’s unfunded pension liability will adopt the 2014 Blue Panel on Pension Funding commissioned by the Society of Actuaries.

Thursday, May 7, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
State and municipal pension reform plans could be tied together

State and municipal pension reform plans could be tied together

As Senate Republicans began circulation of their long-anticipated state and school district employee pension reform proposal Wednesday, in the House a committee held an informational meeting on reforming municipal pension systems as it pertains to public safety pensions.

As the day came to a close, it was said a number of times the two issues could be considered together (though procedurally in two different pieces of legislation).

Wednesday, May 6, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Tags: Pensions
Gov. Wolf, Republicans finalize budget work groups at Tuesday meeting

Gov. Wolf, Republicans finalize budget work groups at Tuesday meeting

House and Senate Republican leaders met with Gov. Tom Wolf for the second straight week Tuesday and finalized the working groups that will be dealing with the budget and component ancillary issues.

“It’s part of our continued meetings with the governor to discuss process and I think we now have a process in place with working groups that will begin budget-related conversations this week,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) following Tuesday’s meeting.

“We’ve got a revenue work group, a liquor [work group], education, and pensions,” he said. “I think everything is ready to go on that."

Tuesday, April 21, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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