Pennsylvania's two largest state defined benefit pension plans would merge and be closed to new hires after Dec. 1 under proposed legislation to be introduced this week in the state Senate.
The bill, to be sponsored by four Republican state senators, would also create a new defined contribution plan for state employees and public school employees hired on or after Dec. 1.
The Pennsylvania Public Employees' Retirement System would be created in the merger of the $47.9 billion Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System and the $24.9 billion Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System, both of Harrisburg.
“Over the past few decades, virtually all of the private sector has shifted to defined contribution retirement plans,” Sen. Dominic Pileggi, Senate majority leader and co-sponsor of the bill, said in a news release. “It's time for Pennsylvania government to do the same.”
The sponsors hope to advance the bill during the Pennsylvania General Assembly's fall session in September and October, according to Erik Arneson, spokesman for Mr. Pileggi.
Mr. Arneson had no further information regarding the merger.
Evelyn Tatkovski, PennPSERS spokeswoman, said the retirement system generally does not comment on legislation.
Pamela Hile, spokeswoman at the State Employees' Retirement System, wrote in an e-mail that the pension fund has not yet seen a specific proposal.
“We'll certainly take a close look at the bill when it's introduced,” she wrote.