For some, real pension reform hasn’t even started

For some, real pension reform hasn’t even started

Despite the bipartisan feel-good atmosphere that accompanied the June enactment of state government’s most recent attempt at pension reform, some inside and outside of the Capitol feel as though real pension reform—reform that directly addresses the combined unfunded pension liability some have put as high as $76 billion—hasn’t even started yet.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Senate Bill 1 clears House, heads to governor

Senate Bill 1 clears House, heads to governor

It was a year ago this week that Gov. Tom Wolf signed major alcohol sales reform legislation, and this week the legislature sent him the largest public pension reform legislation Pennsylvania has seen in decades.

 

After years of work, debate, and emotion, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives put the final votes to Senate Bill 1, passing the measure by a vote of 143-52 Thursday morning.

Thursday, June 8, 2017/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Budget framework’s foundation crumbles; next steps continue to evolve

Budget framework’s foundation crumbles; next steps continue to evolve

The budget framework that seemed so close to passing now seems a lot like Elvis: after suffering a very public and unflattering death Saturday after its lynchpin—public pension reform—failed in the House by an overwhelming 52-149 margin, some still think it might be alive.

Public pension reform—as many had suspected—was going to be the deciding factor Saturday as to whether the optimism about a budget being completed in short order was more reality than wishful thinking.

Saturday, December 19, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Pension reform bill’s savings come at a high cost, PERC says

Pension reform bill’s savings come at a high cost, PERC says

The Public Employee Retirement Commission—colloquially known as PERC—approved an actuarial note to House Bill 900 Wednesday, and in so doing, reported that while the legislation provides for considerable pension savings over a shorter period of time than other reform proposals, it may require funding not in line with budget realities.

One of the policy considerations included in the actuarial note says the following:

“[House Bill 900] requires the systems' unfunded accrued liabilities to be fully funded over a period of 20 years, beginning July 1, 2015. Yet the bill fails to detail the source(s) of the additional funding necessary to fund the unfunded accrued liabilities in an accelerated amortization schedule. Policymakers may want to determine the viability of such a proposal in light of the Commonwealth's current budgetary climate.”

In fact, the commission went so far as to adopt an amendment to the actuarial review to emphasize the budgetary stress the pension reform bill would require, saying the almost $20 billion in combined savings “come at an immediate, substantial increase in contributions."

Wednesday, June 17, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Another pension reform plan to enter the mix

Rep. John McGinnis (R-Blair) announced Thursday morning that—much like the Senate Republicans—he will be unveiling his pension reform plan at a news conference next week.

Rep. McGinnis’s House Bill 900 is said to pay off Pennsylvania’s unfunded pension liability over the next 20 years with level funding.

Earlier this year, Rep. McGinnis previewed the legislation by holding a press conference stating any true pension reform that will attack Pennsylvania’s unfunded pension liability will adopt the 2014 Blue Panel on Pension Funding commissioned by the Society of Actuaries.

Thursday, May 7, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
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