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Monday, October 18, 2010

New Law Considered Today to Change Pennsylvania PSERS Pensions

This law will affect future pensioners - but not those already on pension - like me. Back in 2003 - a window opened allowing people to retire at age 55. This plan closes that window.

The House returns to session today to consider the pension bill version passed by the Senate last week. House Democratic leaders have qualms about whether this version passes constitutional muster because it includes the fiscal office provision.

The overall measure aims to offset the immediate impact of a projected $4 billion cost spike starting in 2012-13 to meet obligations to current employees and retirees by the State Employees Retirement System and Public School Employees Retirement System.

For future employees, the measure would increase the vesting age need to be eligible for a pension from five years to 10 years, roll back benefits to pre-2001 levels, and increase the retirement age to collect full pension benefits to 65 for state and school district employees. The retirement ages now are 60 and 62.

Under the Senate-passed version, future employees would participate in a "shared risk" arrangement, meaning they would have to contribute more of their income to cover investment losses. Currently, any investment loss is made up by state government and school districts.

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