Friday, April 2, 2010

Winds of change for pension reform?

Regular attendees of board meetings should recall my occasional rants about the state workers pension plan and how one solution at reform should be to change it from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan. More simply stated, employees would manage their pension investments instead of the state, and the tax payer is no longer responsible to make up for deficits created by market fluctuations. This would be similar to how you manage your 401k.

You can imagine my surprise and pleasure to learn that State Senator Chuck McIlhinney appears to be proposing just that. In an article appearing in today's Courier Times, Mcilhinney recently said he's working on legislation to change the pension system for future school and state employees, moving away from a defined benefit plan to one similar to a 401(k). I do not know the specific details of what the Senator is proposing so I cannot say exactly if I would endorse the idea or not, but I am gratified to hear that reform measures that include this change are being discussed.

Earlier this year I told you about another proposal for pension reform that just started making its way through Harrisburg. Although I did not support that proposal because it did not include provisions for a defined contribution model, I did take the time to contact the legislator who made the proposal to thank him for starting a dialogue on a subject that has been ignored far too long.

Momentum is starting to build for pension reform and we should take this opportunity to encourage our elected officials to get in the game. Take a few moments to contact our State Representative Frank Farry via email or by calling his Langhorne office at (215) 752-6750, and demand that he actively engages in the issue of state worker pension reform. And when you've finished contacting him, do the same with State Senator Tommy Tomlinson by sending him an email or calling his Levittown office at 215-945-2800.

Always remember . . . if you choose to do nothing, that is exactly what will happen!


1 comment:

Levittowner said...

Thanks for the information. Writing my emails next week.