HARRISBURG – Rep. Aaron Bernstine (R-Beaver/Butler/Lawrence) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives’ bipartisan vote to reform Pennsylvania’s two public pension systems, which have a combined unfunded liability of more than $62.7 billion:
“While this legislation won’t make all our pension problems disappear, it represents a meaningful step that will reduce our massive unfunded liability by more than $5 billion. Most importantly, it shifts financial risk away from our hard-working taxpayers. Every dollar we add to our pension debt threatens the quality of our schools and the paychecks of our taxpayers, and we need to stop adding to it.
“Rapidly increasing pension costs are driving up school property taxes beyond what many families can afford. Reforming the system will help alleviate future property tax increases while ensuring current members of the pension systems receive the benefits they earned, and stabilize the system to protect all taxpayers.
“I will continue to fight for a comprehensive fix to the pension crisis. Senate Bill 1 is a significant step but it cannot be the final step.”
Senate Bill 1 would establish a state 401(k)-style retirement plan for future state and school employees, rather than the current defined benefit plan. Current employees will have the opportunity to opt in to a new plan or continue in their current plan. No current employee or retiree would see any changes to his or her plan. The bill now moves to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.
To read more about Bernstine’s legislative priorities, visit RepBernstine.com or Facebook.com/RepBernstine.