Friday, February 26, 2010

Representative Wants to Change PA School Pensions

A House Republican wants to change Pennsylvania law for public school workers’ pension funds.

Representative Glen Grell of Cumberland County says the pension fund of the Public School Employees’ Retirement System is under-funded and getting progressively worse.

Grell says employee benefits increased when investments were returning well in 2001, and employer contributions fell presumably to curb property taxes. Grell says the investment losses the fund experienced in 2008 and 2009 caused the balance to plummet.

Grell says his bill would remove the benefits multiplier for years of service. For example, someone who’d worked 30 years would get 30% of their final salary in benefits, not 75%.

The bill would also set up a 5% employee-employer contribution plan that would be similar to a 401k plan. The employee would still receive Social Security benefits as well.

Grell says its important to note that the Pennsylvania constitution mandates that all current school employees’ contracts not be changed.

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