Over 30% of County Workers in Reformed Pension Model
In 2013 the General Assembly passed legislation that became Act 125, an act to amend the Second Class County Code’s language on pension benefits for employees of Allegheny County. Similar to almost every reform to post-retirement benefits for public sector employees, new pension benefit rules such as more years of service to qualify for normal retirement, longer vesting period, different final average salary calculations, and limitations on how much overtime could be counted toward the pension would affect only new hires as of a certain date. In Allegheny County’s case the date was February 21, 2014.
More than four years have passed since the change became effective. So how many non-uniformed, police, deputy sheriffs, prison guards, and fire personnel have taken employment with the County since that date?
According to the County’s Retirement Office the total as of March 13th is 2,290 employees. On the same date the County’s total count of active employees in the retirement system was 7,380, meaning 31% of the current active count of employees are covered by the Act 125 pension structure. 5,090 (69%) are not covered by Act 125, which likely means they were employed by the County prior to February 21, 2014 (there is language in the law and guidelines about those returning to employment and whether they would be subject to Act 125, and that depends on the number of years they served previously).