Corbett: Pa. Must Address Pension Woes Now

With Pennsylvania having a crisis from spiraling public pension costs, Republican Gov. Tom Corbett on Tuesday outlined potential fixes he will offer to legislative leaders in January before presenting his 2013 state budget.

Corbett told the Tribune-Review that options include increasing the state retirement age, which varies by agency, and changing how pension benefits are calculated by not including overtime and adding lower-salaried years into the formula.

Any changes would start with new employees but, if he can get lawmakers to agree, could include workers who haven’t put in the 10 years required to become vested in the system.

Making changes won’t fix the problem in the short term, but the state cannot afford to postpone action any longer, Corbett said. As pension costs rise — state payments are due to increase by $511 million next year — other items in the budget will get squeezed.

“Everything is being somewhat driven by what the effect of the pension is,” Corbett said. “People need to know why this is an issue.”

Click here to read the full  published in The Tribune Review (December 5, 2012).

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