HARRISBURG – State senators should lead by example in the effort to reform Pennsylvania’s underfunded pension system for government workers. That’s the sentiment behind a bill introduced today by state Sen. Jarrett Coleman (R-16) that would force future senators to participate in a retirement plan similar to those offered in the private sector.
“My bill would ensure all future state senators lead by example in the effort to reform Pennsylvania’s government pension system,” said Coleman, who earlier this year fulfilled his promise to forego the taxpayer-funded pension available to state lawmakers. “We need state senators to be out front and leading the push for meaningful public pension reform.”
Pennsylvania senators, representative, judges, executive office staff, state agency employees and state government workers are eligible to participate in the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS).
SERS does not have enough money to pay all the benefits promised to retirees. The most recent data show the system is less than 70% funded and has a shortfall of $16.4 billion.
The system currently offers three retirement plan options for senators and other government workers. The first is a traditional pension, or defined-benefit plan. The second is a plan similar to retirement savings options found in the private sector, known as a defined-contribution plan. The third option is a hybrid plan combining defined-benefit and defined-contribution elements.
Coleman’s bill would force senators elected in 2024 and after to enroll in the defined-contribution option.
“My bill would force future state senators to enter a retirement savings plan similar to the ones available to their constituents who work in the private sector,” Coleman said.
Senate Bill 699 has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
Residents who want to learn more about Coleman can visit his website at www.SenatorColeman.com, follow him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SenatorJarrettColeman and sign up for email newsletters at www.SenatorColeman.com/eNewsletters.
CONTACT: Robert Arena 484-861-4962