Pension Reform Might Touch All

Pension Reform Might Touch All

According to the website of the Pennsylvania Municipal League, whose mission is to "strengthen, empower, and advocate for effective local government", there is scheduled to be a press conference today to unveil municipal pension reforms. As we have noted in our work, going back to 2007, Pennsylvania has over 3,000 "local" plans-those covering uniformed and non-uniformed employees of counties, cities, boroughs, townships, home rule municipalities, and authorities. If the state’s 500 school districts were not consolidated into one system (PSERS) the share of pension plans concentrated in Pennsylvania as a percentage of all plans across the country would swell.

It would be a surprise if the proposed reforms to be outlined for municipal plans were to follow exactly what the Governor proposed for PSERS and the system that covers all state workers (SERS) earlier in 2013. One wonders how legislation would treat local governments who have placed their employees (almost exclusively non-uniformed) into defined contribution type plans (53 of the 298 plans in Allegheny County are non-defined benefit plans) if the goal is to move away from defined benefit plans. Age of retirement, length of service, overtime calculations, and many other areas will likely be addressed in one way or another.