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Politics & Government

State House Proposal To Reform Pensions For Some State Employees

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House Republicans have unveiled their own proposals to change state worker pension in Pennsylvania just weeks after their counterparts in the Senate introduced a pension reform plan.

Top Senate Republicans were quick to acknowledge their proposal to enroll future state and school district employees in a 401-k-style retirement plan wouldn't address the huge burden of current employees. So the state would still be on the hook for billions of dollars to pay for their defined-benefit plans.

But Representative Warren Kampf (R-Chester) said under his proposals, current employees would be encouraged to switch to the new defined-contribution plans.

"And receive not 4% from the employer, but 7% from the employer," Kampf said, "and they the employee would be required to contribute 4%."

However, under the measure, new hires would only receive a 4% contribution from their state and school district employers. The legislation does not apply to new state police hires.

Representative Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland) said he supports the measure.

"This is a big deal. It fits into the big context of getting Pennsylvania right on, back on the right track fiscally and making us a solvent state that can go into the future without an excessive burden on the taxpayers," Bloom said.

The state's pension funds face a deficit of about $40 billion. Governor Corbett has singled out pension reform as a top priority of his administration once the budget's finished.