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Pickett Votes in Favor of State Pension Reforms
11/15/2010

To help bring much-needed reform to the pension systems for state employees and teachers, Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) has voted in favor of House Bill 2497.

 

“Although this legislation isn’t perfect, it represents a good starting point and helps prevent the huge spikes in contribution rates for taxpayers at the state and local levels,” Pickett said. “Putting this legislation off for another day would only have presented more challenges, and it was imperative that we not only prevent the spikes but reform the system to avoid future spikes.”

 

Under House Bill 2497, the following changes will be made to both the State Employees Retirement System (SERS) and the Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS):

 

  • Eliminates the lump sum option, which permits retiring employees to withdraw all of their contributions, while receiving a monthly benefit.
  • Raises the retirement age from 60 to 65 for state employees and from 62 to 65 for school employees.
  • Increases the vesting period from five years to 10 years.
  • Reduces the benefit multiplier from 2.5 percent to 2 percent and from 3 percent to 2 percent for lawmakers, while maintaining the employee contribution rate of 6.25 percent for state employees and 7.5 percent for school employees.
  • Caps the retirement benefit under the new plan at the member’s pre-retirement salary, regardless of how many years of service.
  • Reduces the liabilities amortization period from 30 years to 24 years.
  • Creates a “shared risk” provision, which would shift investment losses to the employee instead of solely being borne by the taxpayer.  The employee’s contribution would be adjusted periodically to reflect any poor investment performance by the fund.

 

Pickett noted that this bill will only affect future employees, and the measure now heads to the governor for his signature.

 

“I am hopeful the governor will sign this into law so that we can get these reforms enacted,” she said. “This vote doesn’t signal an end to reforming the pension systems, but it begins a dialogue so that we can continue to monitor the funds and consider any future changes that may be needed.” Rep. Tina Pickett
110th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
(570) 265-3124
(717) 783-8238

RepPickett.com

Contact:  Jennifer Algoe Keaton

jkeaton@pahousegop.com

House Republican Public Relations

(717) 705-2094

PAHouseGOP.com

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