Speaking at Harvard University, Corman Shares Story of PA Pension Overhaul Success

(CAMBRIDGE) – Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34) was invited to speak at Harvard University and share Pennsylvania’s path to successfully reforming the state’s beleaguered pension system.

“The road to addressing Pennsylvania’s pension problem was long and difficult,” Corman told the audience that included financial experts, educators, government officials and economic policy specialists from across the United States. “However, the Pennsylvania legislature took historic action to restructure the state’s two public employee pension systems resulting in the most comprehensive transfer of risk away from taxpayers in the country.”

Corman spoke as part of a case-study panel that included Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Arizona and New Jersey. He was invited to share how this important issue of national significance can be handled by states in a way that leads to success.

“It was an honor to join such esteemed professionals to share how, in Pennsylvania, we were able to communicate the realities of the pension problem to show the impact on every resident and every program in the Commonwealth,” Corman said. “This resonated with people who saw their own retirement benefits move away from defined pension plans to the 401(k)-style plans we were proposing.”

The reform efforts by the General Assembly that led to Act 5 of 2017 being signed into law have transformed state employee and teacher pensions to reflect today’s workforce with a 401(k)-style plan that provides employees with options and portability.

According to an analysis by the Pew Charitable Trust, Act 5 helps “ensure the Commonwealth’s retirement system is sustainable and secure for both taxpayers and public workers for decades to come” and called the enactment of this legislation “the most comprehensive and impactful reform any state has implemented.”

“For many years, there appeared to be no end in sight to the problems plaguing Pennsylvania’s pension systems,” Corman said. “With this much-needed reform, we finally arrived at a solution that struck the proper balance between the interests of taxpayers and the need to provide competitive retirement benefits for employees.”

CONTACT  Jennifer Kocher (717) 787-1377 or jkocher@pasen.gov