Bill to overhaul Pa. pension benefits on fast track

Written by Marc Levy/The Associated Press | Jun 5, 2017 11:33 AM

Photo by Tim Lambert/WITF

(Harrisburg) -- State senators are preparing to vote on legislation supported by Governor Tom Wolf to overhaul benefits in Pennsylvania's two big debt-saddled pension systems.

Today's vote is expected to be followed by swift House action this week to send the just-unveiled bill to Wolf's desk. Wolf's office says he supports the measure's goals of paying down the pension debt on the current schedule, reducing pension fund investment fees and shifting investment risk away from taxpayers.

The proposal would slash the traditional pension benefit for most state government and public school employees hired after 2019, and introduce a 401(k)-style benefit.

Actuaries say it wouldn't reduce near-term pension obligations for the state and school districts, and provides a smaller retirement benefit for new system members.

It wouldn't reduce benefits for current public employees. Retirees are unaffected.

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