– State Rep. Brad Roae (R-Crawford/Erie) today in Harrisburg voted for a public pension reform bill that would save taxpayers money while moving state workers and teachers hired in the future into retirement plans comparable to what’s available in the private sector.
“Taxpayers who have seen their own pensions decline in recent decades can’t afford to continue paying more for expensive public pension plans,” Roae said. “Private-sector workers often have a hard-enough time saving for their own retirement, and they are having to pay more and more for pensions for government workers.”
Pennsylvania operates two public pension systems – one for state workers, and the other for public school teachers and employees. The systems currently are $62.7 billion in debt. The reform bill approved today would save billions of dollars.
“This bill will reduce the amount of money private-sector workers have to pay in taxes to fund public pension systems,” Roae said.
The public pension reform bill would only affect state workers and school employees hired beginning in 2019. It would not affect benefits earned by current public workers or retirees.
State workers and school employees hired beginning in 2019 will be permitted to choose among several competitive retirement benefit plans similar to ones offered in the private sector.
The savings realized through the bill will not only benefit taxpayers, but also strengthen the public pension plans.
“If the Legislature and governor took no action, these plans could go further and further into debt,” Roae said. “Doing nothing could result in a significant threat to the pension benefits already earned by retirees and current workers. We are acting to help taxpayers and protect the pension benefits of public workers and retirees.”
The bill was previously approved by the state Senate and now heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.
Representative Brad Roae
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Dan Massing