State senators call on Wolf to sign pension-reform bill

With the General Assembly having sent Senate Bill 1 to Gov. Wolf’s desk, Senate Republicans spoke out on Tuesday, urging him to sign the measure to bring much-needed fiscal relief to the state’s ailing pension system.

The bill would extensively revise pension provisions for the public school and state employees' retirement systems -- including membership, contributions, benefits, health insurance and military pensions. SB 1 also would create a defined-contribution plan for new employees while protecting existing workers’ benefits.

Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Dist. 34), the bill's sponsor, said, “Moving to a defined-contribution plan is the most responsible approach for the people of Pennsylvania and will be the most significant pension public policy achievement in recent history. Gov. Wolf should embrace real reform for our pension system and sign this legislation.”

As well as providing for future hires while remaining fair to current staff, SB1 establishes a commission of investment professionals and advisers to monitor implementation and make recommendations to the administration. The bill also would obligate the Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System (PSERS) and State Employee Retirement System (SERS) board members to receive annual financial training.

“I commend our colleagues in the House of Representatives for taking swift action to move Senate Bill 1 forward to the governor’s desk,” Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Dist. 25), said.

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Sen. Jake Corman (R-34)

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