HARRISBURG — Sen. Ryan P. Aument (R-36) supported passage today of an historic pension reform measure that will protect benefits earned by retirees and current employees while shielding taxpayers from further risk.
Senate Bill 1, which Aument co-sponsored, would reduce long-term costs to taxpayers by creating a 401k-style pension system for newly hired employees who are eligible to participate in one of the state’s two public employee pension systems – the State Employees’ Retirement System and the Public School Employees’ Retirement System.
The bill would not affect benefits already earned by current employees or retirees. However, current employees would be given the option to either increase their contribution rate or accept a reduced benefit going forward. Retirees would not be affected by Senate Bill 1.
“State pension payments are scheduled to increase by $1 billion this year alone, and the burden of these costs at the state and local level result in higher local property taxes, less money for worthwhile state programs and fewer education dollars available to help students in the classroom,” Aument said. “Failure to address the growing pension burden will only lead to higher state and local taxes in the future. Senate Bill 1 gives us a way to stop the bleeding for taxpayers, while at the same time protecting benefits already earned by retirees and current employees.”
A non-partisan analysis by the Public Employee Retirement Commission determined the measure would save $18.3 billion over the next 30 years.
The bill would require lawmakers to participate in the same pension system as newly hired employees. It also creates a new commission to study investment options and fees associated with managing pension system assets.
Video and audio of Aument’s remarks regarding passage of Senate Bill 1 will be available at www.SenatorAument.com.
Senate Bill 1 was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
CONTACT: Stephanie Buchanan (717) 787-4420