Pa. Senate offers small step toward pension changes with measure affecting new hires

    A Pennsylvania Senate bill would make a change to the pension plans of future state and school district employees.

    The proposal from Republican senators would put state and public school workers on a different kind of pension plan.

    It’s called a defined contribution plan — think 401(k) — and it wouldn’t paint the state into a corner for paying retirement benefits regardless of how large investment profits or employer contributions have been.

    This is not, by itself, the pension reform lawmakers and the governor have been calling for, for the past few months.

    Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, says it wouldn’t change the fact that the state is still facing billions of dollars in costs for retirement benefits of current state employees.

    “This bill is not a total solution but an important part of the solution — one that is achievable, one that’s easy for people to understand, and one that is, in my view, long overdue,” Pileggi said.

    The proposal would affect future state and school district employees, starting with those hired this December.

    Pileggi says it doesn’t touch the plans of local government employees.

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