Jun. 30, 2015

HARRISBURG – The Lancaster County House Republican Delegation this afternoon voted in favor of pension reform for the Commonwealth. Senate Bill 1 addresses the rapidly rising costs of the current pension system for public school and state employees without removing any benefits already earned by current employees or affecting the pension benefits of current retirees.

The cost of contributions to the pension systems soared by $1 billion this year alone; without reform, taxpayers will see no relief from growing pension costs.

State Reps. Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom), Mindy Fee (R-Manheim), Keith J. Greiner (R-Upper Leacock), Dave Hickernell (R-West Donegal), Steve Mentzer (R-Lititz), Brett Miller (R-East Hempfield) and Dave Zimmerman (R-East Earl) issued the following statement following the floor vote on the budget proposal:

“Pensions for public school and state employees are about 60 percent funded right now. With one major market correction on Wall Street, Pennsylvania’s taxpayers as well as SERS and PSERS retirees will be in a world of hurt. Senate Bill 1 begins to address the structural problems that are driving up costs to taxpayers and school districts across the Commonwealth.

“Senate Bill 1 would create a hybrid 401(k)-style and cash balance plan for current and future employees. All legislators would move to the plan upon election or re-election. The plan brings public sector employees’ pensions in line with what many taxpayers in the private sector enjoy. In short, workers in the public sector would be offered a competitive retirement benefit without overburdening taxpayers.

“Now, with Senate Bill 1, we are protecting benefits for current retirees and workers who are now in the SERS and PSERS retirement program, as well as taxpayers, by stabilizing solvency of the system.

“Without meaningful pension reform, ballooning pension costs will force school districts to raise property taxes to pay their pension bills.

“We have not recovered enough from the recession to pile more taxes on families who are still struggling. While there are many noble things on which we would all like to spend our money, the fact is that our constituents literally don’t have another dollar to give. They can’t afford to pay higher property tax bills if the pension problem remains unaddressed.”

As Senate Bill 1 was passed in the House, it now goes back to the Senate for concurrence before going to the governor for his signature.

Lancaster County House Republican Delegation
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Alison Evans