HARRISBURG – Legislation designed to reform the Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System (SERS) and the Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS) was approved by the House State Government Committee today, said committee member, Rep. Jeff C. Wheeland (R-Lycoming).
“This legislation is a significant step forward in working to help alleviate an over $53 billion unfunded liability in both public pension funds,” said Wheeland. “The difference between the House bill and legislation currently in the Senate is that the provisions apply only to new hired employees in both systems.”
Wheeland said House Bill 727 would require future state workers and school district employees to enroll in an employee-directed defined contribution plan, as opposed to the current defined benefit plans that SERS and PSERS have.
If signed into law, most state employees hired after Jan. 1, 2016, and school employees hired after July 1, 2016, would be required to enroll in the new plans.
Wheeland stressed the legislation does not apply to current employees and retirees, whose benefits in SERS and PSERS remain the same.
“The fact is, this bill would shift the pension investment risk away from the taxpayers, school districts and the Commonwealth itself,” said Wheeland.” “By limiting the future financial obligations, the focus can be put on working to pay the bulging unfunded liability that is owed to current retirees.”
The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.
Representative Jeff C. Wheeland
83rd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Raymond Smith