Corbett prepares to confront Pa. pension predicament

    Gov. Tom Corbett has made it no secret that pension reform tops his legislative to-do list for 2013.

    For months, Corbett has been referring to Pennsylvania’s rising pension costs as a Pac-Man poised to consume the state budget.

    But he says he’s still not ready to divulge what reform might look like. And to those prodding him to offer solutions for the state’s pension problem, Corbett says, “Slow down.”

    “There is no silver bullet,” he said during a conference of county commissioners. “This is going to be hard and it’s going to take a lot of work. And it’s going to be difficult. But if we don’t do it now, 15 years from now, budgets are going to go entirely to pensions.”

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    State lawmakers have proposed switching new and volunteering current state employees to a 401(k)-style pension plan more common in the private sector.

    Corbett doesn’t even hint at how much that will play into a reform plan.He says only that he’s in talks with the Legislature, and will play this hand close to the vest well into next year.

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