The Senate today approved a historic pension reform bill that will transform public employee retirement benefits for the 21st Century and limit future financial risks for taxpayers.
Senate Republican leaders offered the following statement on Senate Bill 1, which is projected to save more than $5 billion and shield taxpayers from $20 billion or more in additional liabilities if state investments fail to meet projections.
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25): “Today we have made historic changes to Pennsylvania’s pension systems. Senate Bill 1 provides excellent structural reform and many outside experts have been quick to proclaim that this bill goes directly to the head of its class in the nation. Pension reform is not an easy issue to tackle. Changes must be made, but we also must acknowledge current retirees and the investments of current state employees. Senate Bill 1 will help to ensure the stability of our Commonwealth for decades to come.” WATCH LISTEN
Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34): “Solving our pension crisis has long been the number one issue that we face in Harrisburg. The current pension structure has created a financial obligation that crowds out other state spending including that for education. This bill looks to the future and addresses the structural problems with the state pension system. It will provide stability and predictability in the state budget. A number of outside groups support this historic change because it puts Pennsylvania on a healthy fiscal path for the future.” WATCH LISTEN
Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Pat Browne (R-16): “The fundamental problem facing the Commonwealth with its current pension plans is that its collective risk profile is way too high. This pension proposal will allow the state to more effectively mitigate potential debt, provide a competitive benefit for our employees and build a solid platform for the Commonwealth’s future fiscal health by providing the largest risk transfer in the country.” WATCH LISTEN
Senate Bill 1 has the support of many organizations including:
- The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry
- Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia
- The Allegheny Conference/ Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce
- The Pew Charitable Trust
- The Commonwealth Foundation
- American Legislative Exchange Council
- Pennsylvania School Boards Association
- The Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants
- Retirement Security Initiative
- The Reason Foundation
Senate Bill 1 was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.