York County lawmaker to push for municipal pension overhaul

Written by Craig Layne and Radio Pennsylvania | Apr 9, 2013 2:36 PM

(Harrisburg) -- As state lawmakers and the governor grapple over a possible pension overhaul, some are pointing to needed changes to municipal retirement plans, as well.

Leaders from some midstate communities facing budget deficits have urged lawmakers to look at changing pension laws to head off possible financial problems.

Representative Seth Grove says a proposal he's introducing would keep current workers' pension plans in place, while creating a different retirement option for newly hired municipal workers.

The York County Republican says the so-called "cash balance" pension is a mix of a defined benefit and a 401k-style plan.

"For future employees, it means a job future," Grove explains. "Municipalities are able to hire new firefighters, new law enforcement officers. It maintains a great pension system. For taxpayers, it means less tax burden. It means they don't have to front the bill for escalating pension costs."

Grove has garnered support from the Coalition for Sustainable Communities, which is backed by several midstate chambers of commerce.

The business, economic development and municipal group sees rising pension costs as a threat to communities that could have to choose between raising taxes and cutting services like police and fire departments.

witf's calls seeking comment on the plan to the Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police and Pennsylvania Professional Firefighters Association were not immediately returned.

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