June 29, 2010 |
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.
March 15, 2012 |
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.
January 29, 2013 |
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.
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)
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.
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)
February 12, 2013 |
The pension reform package Gov. Corbett proposed last week to address the state's $41 billion pension debt leaves 386,000 state employees and teachers wondering how it would change their retirement income. Specific answers are not easy to come by because of the complexity of the proposed changes and the uncertainty over whether there is legislative support for some or all of the proposals. There is also uncertainty for school districts as they prepare preliminary budgets not knowing precisely what their state funding will be, given that Corbett tied his education-funding proposal to approval of his pension package.
November 28, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - Signaling the importance of pension changes in the coming months, the Corbett administration released a detailed report Monday warning of steep budget cuts if a way is not found swiftly to rein in public-pension spending. The 19-page report labeled Pennsylvania's pension funding problems a crisis, saying it had been created by a combination of generous enhancements over the last decade to member and retiree benefits, lackluster investment returns, and nearly a decade of underfunding by state government and local school districts.
September 9, 2009
TOMORROW, the state House is likely to vote again on House Bill 1848, providing fiscal relief for our battered city budget. The second vote is necessary because the state Senate amended the bill to include big changes to public pension plans across the state. There are three possible outcomes of the vote: The House could defeat the bill because it doesn't want to rile up the unions or mess with pension reform. That's the worst case for the city. Or it could alter the amendments in the bill, which would cause another delay as the bill goes back to the Senate.
October 31, 1986 |
City Council apparently is preparing to tack an improvement in pension benefits for elected officials, including Council members, onto a 30-page municipal-pension reform bill proposed by the Goode administration. A bill introduced yesterday by Council President Joseph E. Coleman would allow local elected officials to become vested in the city pension fund after only six years, instead of the current 10 years it takes for all city employees to qualify for pension payments when they retire.