The Pennsylvania Senate approved a pension reform bill on Monday to address the unfunded liabilities of the state’s two largest pension plans.
The bill would require new state and school employees to enroll in a hybrid plan consisting of a traditional pension fund and a 401(k)-style plan, said an announcement on the website of the bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Pat Browne, a Republican.
Senate Bill 1082 passed the Senate with a 38-12 vote. The bill now goes to the House for a vote.
The $51.7 billion Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System and $27 billion Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System, both based in Harrisburg, together have an unfunded liability of $60.1 billion.
Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale condemned the legislation.
“We are deeply disappointed that the state Senate passed a bill that, over time, will leave future public-sector workers and school employees in poverty,” Mr. Bloomingdale said in the news release. “This is a bad deal for Pennsylvania, which will end up costing taxpayers more for an inferior pension that jeopardizes the retirement security of hundreds of thousands of workers.”
In July, Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, vetoed a pension reform bill that proposed all new state and public school employees be enrolled in a mandatory defined contribution plan, as well as offering an optional cash balance plan.
In September, Mr. Wolf proposed a new pension system that included a mandatory 401(k)-style plan for all new employees making at least $75,000 in annual income. In addition, all employees would be given the option to participate only in a defined contribution plan at their time of hire. The plan also featured a risk-sharing component for all new employees.
Jeffrey Sheridan, a spokesman for Mr. Wolf’s office, did not respond to requests for comment.
The full list of changes proposed in the legislation is available on the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s website.