Municipal Pension Reform Should Cross Party Lines, Lawmakers Say
7/31/2015
HARRISBURG – Reps. Seth Grove (R-York) and Keith Greiner (R-Lancaster) this week commended Auditor General Eugene DePasquale and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto for highlighting the need for municipal pension reform.

“Municipal pension reform is an issue which should cross party lines,” Grove said. “Even though the auditor general and Mayor Peduto are both prominent Democrats and I thank them for speaking on this issue, there has been little bipartisan work here in Harrisburg to address the municipal pension crisis.”

In remarks to the York Economic Alliance, DePasquale explained the dire need for municipal pension reform as the city of Scranton could go bankrupt as early as 2017. Peduto, during a recent editorial board meeting, said Pittsburgh is struggling under growing pension costs. Despite selling some of the city’s assets to fund the local pension system, the latest audit showed only marginal financial improvement. The city is currently spending 30 percent of its total funds on pensions.

“These stories are not unique,” Greiner said. “Communities all over the Commonwealth are struggling with the weight of municipal pensions. I applaud the efforts of Mayor Peduto, along with the advocacy of mayors from places such as York, Lancaster and Erie. Unfortunately, this hasn’t translated to Democratic support in the House and Senate. As this crisis continues to deepen across the state, the time is now for a bipartisan reform effort.”

Grove and Greiner are the co-authors of House Bill 316, which would apply to all townships and boroughs with full-time public safety personnel and all cities, except Philadelphia. After a defined date, new hires would be placed in a defined benefit plan with a balance made up of mandatory employer and employee contributions and an employer-guaranteed interest credit.

Current employees would maintain all existing rights and benefits; however, these benefits would be frozen at current levels. Each municipality would maintain two plans until there are no more beneficiaries in the old defined benefit plan. In addition, the legislation would remove pension benefits from the collective bargaining process. It is currently with the House Rules Committee.

Representative Seth Grove
196th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Representative Keith Greiner
43rd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Nick Ruffner
717.260.6258
RepGrove.com / Facebook.com/RepSethGrove
Share |