Statewide pension plan proposed for police in Pa.

    A statewide pension plan for municipal police officers could be in Pennsylvania’s future — if a legislative measure gains enough traction.

    The plan would do away with automatic boosts in benefits known as cost-of-living adjustments. And it would mandate a 7.5 percent contribution from members.

    The statewide pension plan would be optional only for current local officers, said Rep. Glen Grell, R-Cumberland.

    “It would be mandatory for any new municipal police officers anywhere in the state,” said Grell, head of the House GOP pension reform task force. “And it would be optional for plans that want to convert into the statewide fund.”

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    The pension plan would remain as a defined-benefit plan offering a set payout at the end of an officer’s tenure.

    Grell says he would support a statewide option for non-police municipal employees as well, but he didn’t want to take that big a bite of the apple just yet.

    “Sometimes you have to take baby steps,” he said. “So you know, we’re trying to promote it just for police plans, but there’s no reason that, if it proves to be effective, that it couldn’t expand to include municipal pensions.”

    The commonwealth has a vast constellation of municipal pension plans, with police maintaining their own separate offshoot of funds numbering around 900.

    Grell says consolidating those plans would save money for municipalities.

    He said the majority of their police pension plans contain fewer than 10 members.

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