Comitta supports pension reform bill

HARRISBURG, June 8 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta today voted for meaningful pension reform, saying it is past time to address Pennsylvania’s pension crisis.

“I am proud to have had the opportunity to vote on this very important issue,” Comitta said. “Senate Bill 1 might not be perfect, but it is an important, positive step to move Pennsylvania forward.”

Senate Bill 1, which passed 143-53, is expected to save the state $1.4 billion over 30 years. It does so by increasing employee contributions for new hires of the State Employees’ Retirement System and Public School Employees’ Retirement System while reducing benefits, beginning in 2019. Current employees can opt in as well.

It would not affect current employees who choose not to opt in or retirees already receiving benefits.

The plan offers future public employees a choice among three retirement savings options – two hybrid defined benefit/defined contribution plans and a defined contribution retirement plan. The element of shared risk provides better protection for future generations of taxpayers, Comitta said.

Comitta said the bill, which has the support of Gov. Tom Wolf, is the result of years of bipartisan work and compromise.

“I’ve spent my entire career working on initiatives that have brought diverse stakeholders together to affect change that improves people's lives, and this is a great example of collaboration,” Comitta said. “Senate Bill 1 helps move us toward a healthier fiscal future.”