CollectionsPension Reform
IN THE NEWS

Pension Reform

FEATURED ARTICLES
NEWS
June 29, 2010 | By Wallace Nunn
The Pennsylvania House's approach to pension reform is, to paraphrase Lincoln, government of the unions, by the unions, and for the unions. Unsurprisingly, legislators also put in a little something for themselves. House Bill 2497 is being touted as a reform of the bloated pension system currently enjoyed by state workers, public school teachers, and (even more so) elected officials. Of course, if you are an average Pennsylvania taxpayer, you might think of it as the pension system from hell.
NEWS
June 10, 2013
By Jennifer Stefano Most Pennsylvania families wouldn't dream of ignoring their financial obligations and spending money they don't have, passing on their bills to others. So why do the representatives of those families think they can get away with that type of behavior? In 2001, the General Assembly approved enhanced retirement benefits for themselves and state workers, expecting taxpayers to pick up the tab at the expense of their own retirements and households. Making the situation worse, in the years since, the state has not been contributing its fair share to the pension funds.
NEWS
March 15, 2012 | BY CATHERINE LUCEY, luceyc@phillynews.com215-854-4172
AN ADVOCACY GROUP campaigning nationally for public pension reform visited Philadelphia on Thursday promising to "expose" the city's top pension recipients - including one retiree with a $4.5 million estimated lifetime payout. But what the group really exposed was its own fuzzy math. The Chicago-based Taxpayers United of America released a list of local pension recipients, topped by former Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson, who it said would get an "estimated lifetime pension" of $4.5 million.
NEWS
April 24, 2014 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
WASHINGTON Gov. Christie continued Tuesday to make his pitch for pension reform and renewal of a cap on raises for public workers, sounding alarms about the state's economic future in a speech at a New Jersey Chamber of Commerce dinner. Addressing business leaders, lawmakers, and lobbyists at the chamber's annual "Walk to Washington" event, Christie said the state was doing better than it was four years ago. But that progress will be derailed, the Republican governor said, if the Democrats who control the Legislature do not agree to make further changes to the state's pension system and continue a 2 percent cap on raises for police and firefighters.
NEWS
January 29, 2013 | By Angela Couloumbis, INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
HARRISBURG - With only a week until he delivers his budget proposal, Gov. Corbett is making it increasingly clear that his administration is willing to play hardball to get the legislature to confront the escalating cost of public employee pensions. And likely to be caught in the middle of the fracas: aid to public schools. Speaking Monday at a monthly press club luncheon, Corbett budget secretary Charles Zogby reiterated - albeit more forcefully than before - that unless legislators tackle the rising cost of Pennsylvania's two major pension funds, there will be deep cuts in the next state budget, and very possibly in education funding.
NEWS
August 21, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Raising hopes for a budget deal, Republican legislative leaders emerged from negotiations Wednesday saying they would give Gov. Wolf a portion of the money he wants for public schools as long as he accepts their plan for pension reform. Though details were scant, Republicans who control both legislative chambers said they would agree to allocate an additional $400 million for classroom spending on kindergarten through 12th grade if the governor agreed to their counterproposal for reining in the ballooning cost of public-employee pensions.
NEWS
March 25, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - No pension reform, no state budget. A top Senate Republican said Monday that if Gov. Wolf doesn't address the state's skyrocketing pension costs during budget negotiations with the legislature, there will be no budget. Majority Leader Jake Corman (R., Centre) said that reining in the cost of public employee pensions is a priority, and that he and his colleagues will not pass a spending plan if it is not addressed. "We are not doing a budget without it," Corman said during a monthly press club luncheon in Harrisburg, comparing the state's pension problem to a "tsunami" that has already reached land.
NEWS
February 5, 2013
By Richard C. Dreyfuss As Gov. Corbett's fiscal year 2013-14 state budget proposal is finalized, the familiar challenge of balancing finite resources against ever-increasing spending requests begins. This year, expect debates over special initiatives ranging from liquor privatization to transportation funding. But there is one recurring and unresolved challenge that only seems to become worse with each passing year - public pensions costs, specifically those of two statewide plans, the Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS)
NEWS
January 31, 2013
THE PENDING FIGHT over pensions for Pennsylvania state workers and public-school employees is certain to include enough actuarial data and ideology to make most minds, including mine, go numb. We're talking billions of obligated tax dollars to hundreds of thousands of people, lots of politics, Rubik's Cube-like fiscal stuff, some of which will wind up in court, making more paydays for lawyers. It is, in short, a cluster-shag. At the heart of the issue is a divide separating (most)
NEWS
March 11, 2013
Josh Shapiro is the Montgomery County commissioners chairman and serves as chairman of the county's pension board When trying to pare budgets and be more efficient, go where the money is. That's why Montgomery County, the commonwealth's third most populous county, closely examined the costs associated with our $450 million public employee pension fund. Public pensions are an area of significant potential savings, and of particular importance to state and local governments around the country.
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Next »
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
August 15, 2016
Dan White is a senior economist at Moody's Analytics in West Chester and an adviser on pensions to the National League of Cities In the back-and-forth drama of Pennsylvania's budget woes, nothing has been more ever-present than pension reform. The compromises involved in true reform have put the concept out of reach for several years, but now the legislature and Gov. Wolf have put an ambitious emphasis on reform for the fall. This is laudable, long overdue, and essential for getting us back on a more sustainable budget track.
NEWS
July 1, 2016
By Richard C. Dreyfuss Someone once quipped that a camel is a horse designed by committee. A perfect example of this metaphor is the "stacked-hybrid" public pension plan passed by the Pennsylvania House in mid-June. Rather than fixing our broken state pension system, this plan keeps all the problems that led to billions in debt and continues to avoid paying for the promises made to public employees. Pennsylvania taxpayers already face an unsustainable $63.2 billion pension debt - 730 percent more than just 10 years ago. This threatens future plan solvency and transfers costs to future generations.
NEWS
June 25, 2016 | By Angela Couloumbis, HARRISBURG BUREAU
HARRISBURG - For now, at least, the Pennsylvania House and Senate are agreeing to disagree on the best way to deal with the skyrocketing cost of public employee pensions. The Senate on Thursday rejected the pension proposal approved this month by the House. One prominent Republican said the chambers will form a joint committee to craft a stronger bill. "We want to get it done and we want to get it right," said Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R., Centre), later adding: "It's by far the number one problem facing the commonwealth . . . and we are not giving up on it. " Late last year, the Senate approved a bill to change retirement benefits for future state and public school employees, calling for them to receive both a less generous version of the traditional retirement benefit for current employees as well as a 401(k)
NEWS
June 16, 2016 | By Karen Langley and Angela Couloumbis, HARRISBURG BUREAU
HARRISBURG - Last week, it was the state's infamously restrictive alcohol laws that got an unexpected revision. This week, it was pension reform's turn. On Tuesday, the House easily passed a bill that would change the retirement benefits for future state and school workers. Gov. Wolf said the measure could save the state billions of dollars, and urged the Senate to consider it. Together, the passage of both bills carried a potentially bigger message: In two weeks, lawmakers worked at a surprisingly swift pace to tackle major issues that complicated last year's budget talks - and could have become roadblocks as talks intensify on next year's spending plan.
NEWS
June 7, 2016 | By Carley Mossbrook, Staff Writer
HARRISBURG - On any given day, hordes of state Capitol visitors pass Barry Shutt. The 68-year-old Harrisburg-area resident with bifocals and white, wispy hair sits quietly in a lawn chair outside the statehouse cafeteria. Next to him rests what he calls the "Doomsday clock," one showing the ever-growing total of the state's pension debt - adding $158 each second, according to calculations Shutt said he received from two pension experts. For nearly two years, the retired state employee and Army veteran has maintained his one-man vigil a few days a week to lobby against a state pension system that he says has reached $66 billion in 15 years - and provides even him with generous retirement benefits.
NEWS
March 11, 2016
ISSUE | PHILA. PENSIONS Buyouts - a start City Controller Alan Butkovitz's proposal to offer pension buyouts could help stabilize the pension fund ("Buyouts a possible pension solution," Monday). Businesses have tried to stabilize their struggling pension plans by offering pension buyouts. But this shifting of risk and responsibility can have dire consequences for the retiree. I suspect that most city retirees, myself included, lack the financial skills to prudently manage a large sum of money over a lifetime.
NEWS
February 9, 2016
You know why they didn't want to do a budget presentation last Tuesday, right? It was Groundhog Day. Too fitting for Harrisburg: same stuff, over and over again. So it's this Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, which is also appropriate: the day before a season of ashes and sacrifice. So here we go. Gov. Wolf - he of optimism absent reason - on Tuesday will address a joint session of the Republican legislature in the House chamber - a.k.a. home of the Flat Earth Society - right around noon.
NEWS
January 11, 2016
Mark J. Warshawsky is a senior research fellow with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, where he cowrote, with Ross Marchand, "The Extent and Nature of State and Local Government Pension Problems and a Solution" When it comes to severe fiscal difficulties spurred by public pension mismanagement, Illinois and New Jersey receive the most attention. These two states, however, are hardly alone: According to an authoritative study by professors Robert Novy-Marx and Joshua D. Rauh published in the Journal of Finance, pensions in 21 states were funded below 40 percent in 2009.
NEWS
August 21, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Raising hopes for a budget deal, Republican legislative leaders emerged from negotiations Wednesday saying they would give Gov. Wolf a portion of the money he wants for public schools as long as he accepts their plan for pension reform. Though details were scant, Republicans who control both legislative chambers said they would agree to allocate an additional $400 million for classroom spending on kindergarten through 12th grade if the governor agreed to their counterproposal for reining in the ballooning cost of public-employee pensions.
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Next »
|
|
|
|
|