Key Issue: Pension

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Key Issue: Pensions

On June 12, 2017, Gov. Tom Wolf signed bipartisan pension legislation that does not include many of the harmful provisions that PSEA has opposed for the past four and a half years.

PSEA member advocacy and Gov. Wolf's leadership made a difference in this debate.

PSEA members sent nearly 1 million emails, letters, and phone calls to legislators, opposing these harmful provisions. And Gov. Wolf stood up for PSEA members and other working Pennsylvanians at the bargaining table.

Read Gov. Wolf's letter to PSEA members about the bill.

Act 5 of 2017

Act 5 of 2017:

  • has no negative impact on current employee benefits;
  • has a positive impact on current employees hired after June 30, 2011;
  • reduces pension benefits about 10 percent for new employees hired after June 30, 2019, compared with benefits for members hired after June 30, 2011; and
  • has no negative impact on the future stability of PSERS and SERS.

While the bill does provide a 401(k)-type option for those hired after June 30, 2019, it doesn't force them or current members into a 401(k)-type pension system, doesn't make unconstitutional changes to current member benefits, and doesn't threaten the solvency of our retirement fund.

PSEA's Pension Principles

Pennsylvania public school employees work hard and earn the pensions they receive in retirement. While state lawmakers have made short-sighted political decisions that have added to the state’s pension funding woes, school employees contribute to their pensions, paycheck after paycheck, without fail. That's why PSEA is committed to fighting to protect the retirement benefits our members have earned and paid for.

PSEA has opposed any pension proposal that:

  • Cuts retirement benefits for current employees;
  • Doesn’t protect the defined benefit system and establishes a defined contribution system; or
  • Weakens the retirement security of current, retired, or future employees.