Dermody backs careful pension changes for future public employees

HARRISBURG, June 14 – Democratic Leader Frank Dermody today joined 135 of his House colleagues in approving a landmark pension reform bill that maintains benefits for current public employees and retirees while changing the pension structure for most future state and school employees.

"The people of Pennsylvania want the legislature to address the state's public pension challenges," Dermody said. "This bipartisan approach to pension legislation is a huge step forward and a vast improvement to other failed attempts in recent years.

The House’s amendment to the bill (S.B. 1071) would shift some financial risk away from taxpayers and would reduce future pension costs while protecting retirement security for current employees and people who already retired.

“Public workers have been regularly paying their share into the system. They deserve a secure retirement," Dermody said.

"At the same time, this legislation maintains a comparable level of security for teachers, state employees and other public servants hired in 2018 or later,” he said. “That's important for making sure those future workers won’t have to rely on public assistance or other safety net programs when they retire – at significant cost to state taxpayers.

"Moving forward on this now will let us turn our attention to the state's larger retirement challenge: the difficulty that all workers, not just public employees, face in saving enough for a secure retirement. House Democrats will continue to seek retirement security for all Pennsylvanians and will be working to make that a reality moving forward,” Dermody said.

"Today's action gives us a chance to now focus on delivering a balanced state budget that improves funding for education, helps fix the deficit and pays the bills.”