Malagari applauds passage of House Bill 1416: A vital step toward supporting Pennsylvania’s retired educators and public servants

LANSDALE, Nov. 14 – Today, Pennsylvania took a huge step forward in backing retired educators and public servants as the state House of Representatives voted in favor of House Bill 1416.

Spearheaded by state Reps. Steve Malagari, D-Montgomery, and Dan Deasy, D-Allegheny, this legislation aims to address the longstanding cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, issue that has affected the financial stability of those who dedicated their careers to serving the commonwealth.

"For two decades, our retired teachers and public servants have faced financial uncertainty due to the absence of a COLA," Malagari said. "This inaction has resulted in real hardships for these individuals who laid the foundation of knowledge for generations to come and worked diligently to ensure the smooth functioning of our commonwealth."

Malagari said H.B. 1416 specifically targets the lack of a COLA for retirees within the State Employees Retirement System and the Public School Employees Retirement System who retired before 2001.

While eight COLAs were provided between 1960 and 2002, there has been a concerning absence of adjustments since then. This stagnation has coincided with a staggering 50% increase in inflation, significantly eroding the value of pensions, particularly for those who retired before July 2001, he said.

According to Malagari, the bill proposes a practical solution by introducing an additional supplemental annuity ranging from 15% to 24.5%, depending on the date of retirement.

Addressing the impact on Pennsylvania’s education system, Malagari highlighted the bill's significance in attracting and retaining educators.

"The ongoing teacher shortage is a pressing concern for our schools,” Malagari said. “Ensuring that our retired educators are supported financially post-retirement is crucial to inspire future generations to pursue careers in teaching."

Malagari expressed gratitude for the bill’s passage through the Pennsylvania House and urged the Senate's prompt approval.

"This bill isn’t an extravagant request; it's a pragmatic solution to honor the service of our retirees,” he said. “The time to act is now, and our retired educators and public servants deserve no less.

"Our teachers and public servants deserve a retirement that reflects the value of their lifelong commitment. Their dedication to nurturing young minds and ensuring the efficiency of our state demands recognition and support in their retirement years."