Greiner’s pension reform bill passes as Act 63 of 2015
Presently, commonwealth counties are required by law to perform a review pertaining to a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for retired county employees on a tri-annual basis. The existing law does not specify how COLAs would be applied to benefits nor indicate what inflation index is appropriate to use.
“My legislation provides clarity and much needed reforms to the commonwealth’s county pension law,” Greiner said. “As a former Lancaster County controller and member of Lancaster County’s retirement board, I know firsthand how the ambiguity of the county pension law could lead counties into financial difficulties, making taxpayers responsible for that burden.”
Act 63 now mandates that COLA may not be applied retroactively and that the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers is to be the official benchmark for any COLA. The index is the level of inflation calculated for use in northeastern states.
It also establishes a minimum level of required funding. This consists of a funding ratio of at least 80 percent and obligates counties to use best management practices when creating actuarial notes.
“Ultimately, my legislation provides protections to taxpayers by ensuring that counties’ pension systems remain well-funded and county retirement boards follow best management practices,” Greiner said.