Toepel Stands in Support of Legislation to Reform State Pension System
6/12/2012
HARRISBURG – Understanding the dire need to address the ever-rising pension obligations that are crippling budgets at every level throughout the state, Rep. Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery) today joined several House members at a press conference held in the Capitol to unveil legislation to reform the state pension system.



“Pennsylvania is facing a multi-billion dollar public pension crisis and this pension reform package is the first step toward getting Pennsylvania back on track to being a fiscally solid state, without placing excessive burden on our hard-working taxpayers,” said Toepel, co-sponsor of the package.

This reform package, made up of House Bills 2353 and 2454, would require future state and school district employees to enroll in an employee-directed defined contribution plan, similar to 401(k) plans prevalent in the private sector, rather than a defined benefit plan.

House Bill 2353 focuses on addressing state employees, while House Bill 2454 focuses on school district employees. Both pieces of legislation were championed by fellow Republican Montgomery County Rep. Warren Kampf.

The two systems administering retirement accounts for state employees and public school employees, the State Employees’ Retirement System and Public School Employees’ Retirement System, were together underfunded by more than $30 billion last fiscal year.

“If we continue to operate under the current state pension system over the next couple of few years, we are looking at being underfunded by more than $60 billion,” said Toepel. “I cannot support a system that requires our property taxpayers to shell out more in taxes to fund school employee pensions.”

The pension crisis in Pennsylvania is recognized worldwide by major bond-rating agencies, as Fitch and Moody have given the state a negative outlook because of this issue.

It was emphasized that if Pennsylvania doesn’t solve this pension problem, the Commonwealth’s credit score could be downgraded in the future, in turn raising the cost of carrying our state’s debt and borrowing any new money in the future, further fueling the fiscal fire that is consuming the state budget.

Both pieces of legislation now await referral to a standing House committee. For more legislative information, visit Toepel’s website at www.RepToepel.com.

State Representative Marcy Toepel
147th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Lauren Whetzel
lwhetzel@pahousegop.com
717.260.6451
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