State lawmakers to look at pension cuts

    Republican legislators are considering a 20-percent decrease to public school, and state employee retirement plans.

    Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania will consider big changes to public employee pensions this week.

    Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi says several Republicans want to see benefits shifted to a 401k-style plan where employees make contributions.  Now, the state makes defined payments to retirees.

    Pennsylvania State Education Association spokesman Wythe Keever says his union opposes that change.

    “The current defined benefit program from the State Employees Retirement System and the Public School Employees Retirement System is better for everyone,” Keever says. “It’s better for the employers, it’s better for the employees. It delivers more bang for the buck in terms of benefits at a lower cost.”

    GOP senators also will discuss pension reforms approved by the House. These include decreasing pensions for future state and public school employees by 20 percent, and bumping the retirement age up to 65.

    PSEA provides funding for WHYY’s coverage of state government issues.

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