Report Calls for Immediate Action to Municipal Pension Crisis, Grove Says
2/26/2014
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale announced today the Commonwealth is facing a $6.7 billion underfunded municipal pension liability. He released these figures as part of a report on statewide municipal pensions and the Auditor General stressed the importance for immediate action to address this growing crisis. Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover) supports the study, and has already introduced municipal pension reform legislation.

“I strongly support the Auditor General’s findings, which reinforces why I authored House Bill 1581, a cash balance reform plan to fix the system and lessen the financial strain on local governments,” Grove said. “My legislation would reduce the financial burden on local governments while ensuring sustainable municipal worker pensions.”

“The state pension issue gets most of the media and legislative attention,” DePasquale said at a press conference today in Pittsburgh. “However, my report shows the municipal pension problem is just as widespread and, without changes, could push some municipalities into bankruptcy.”

Grove’s reform plan would apply to all townships and boroughs with full-time public safety personnel and all cities, except Philadelphia. Cash balance is a defined benefit plan of members’ accounts where the balance is made up of mandatory employer and employee contributions and an employer guaranteed interest credit.

The plan would apply to only new hires after an established date. Current employees would maintain all existing rights and benefits; however, these benefits will be frozen at current levels. Each municipality will maintain two plans until there are no more beneficiaries in the old defined benefit plan.

“We can no longer afford to do nothing,” DePasquale added. “The current system is not sustainable and municipal employees, including police officers and firefighters, deserve to know that the pension they are counting on will be there when they retire.”

Grove’s House Bill 1581 is currently being considered by the House Local Government committee.

For more information on Grove’s legislative goals visit www.repgrove.com or www.Facebook.com/RepSethGrove.

The Auditor General’s municipal pension report is available online at: http://www.auditorgen.state.pa.us/Reports/MunicipalPensionSpecialReport022614.pdf.

Representative Seth Grove
196th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Mike Straub
717.260.6479
mstraub@pahousegop.com  
RepGrove.com / Facebook.com/RepSethGrove
Share |