Issue Summary (Updated May 2012)
The Changing Pension Landscape
The state has made some changes to pension laws that affect Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, but signifcant reforms have yet to arrive.
What We Know:
Pennsylvania is home to more that 3,000 local government pension plans. Close to 300 of these are located in Allegheny County, but the large plans of the County and the City have been the focus of recent reform efforts.
Allegheny County's pension plan, for instance, could see new hires working more years (25 as opposed to 20), not being able to count overtime into their pensions, and have their final average salary determined by a longer time period if the state passes proposed legislation.
Pittsburgh is just starting out under a thirty year plan crafted following the passage of Act 44 of 2009. The plan devotes a portion of parking tax money over and above what the City was already putting into pension plans. The state has reclassified Pittsburgh's plans as "moderately distressed" with 62% funded ratio, an improvement over the 34% "severely distressed" status it carried before.
Beyond the municipal and county plans there are two very large retirement systems for school employees and state workers that demand attention. What is involved in reform might range from higher retirement ages, longer years of service, or moving new hires to a defined contribution or hybrid style plan.