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Details of public pension benefits in Pennsylvania

Written by The Associated Press | May 11, 2015 5:55 PM
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(Harrisburg) -- Legislation being advanced by Pennsylvania Senate Republicans would seek pension concessions from state government and public school employees hired before 2011. It would ask them to pay a bigger portion of their paycheck to keep a pension enhancement authorized in 2001. Those who elect not to pay more would see the pension benefit calculated on their future earnings reduced to the pre-2001 benefit level.

Here's how most pensions are now calculated, what some typical employees are getting and how much they contributed toward their pensions:

How pensions are calculated

For most members of the state's two largest pension systems hired before 2011, average pay for the last three years on the job is multiplied by years of service and then by 2.5 percent.

Most members of the school system contribute 6.25 percent of their salary; most members of the state employee system contribute 7.5 percent.

Retirement age

School employees hired before 2011: Normal retirement age is 60 with three years of service, or any age with 35 years of service.

State employees hired before 2011: Normal retirement age is 62 with at least one year of service, or age 60 with 30 years of service or any age with 35 years of service.

Lawmakers and public safety personnel hired before 2011 and with 20 years' experience: Normal retirement age is age 50.

Pension payouts, what they put in

Assuming they leave their contributions and interest in the system, some examples:

School employees retiring on average member salary of $52,500 would get a maximum annual pension of about $39,000 after working 30 years. Those who retired in 2013 contributed an average of $71,000, including interest.

State employees retiring on the average member salary of $47,930 would get a maximum annual pension of approximately $35,930 after working 30 years. Those who retired in 2013 contributed an average of $72,550, including interest.

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