HARRISBURG – June 26, 2015 – State Senator Art Haywood made the following statement regarding his support of SB755, a municipal pension bill that was passed in Senate Finance Committee by a 7-3 vote on 24 June 2015:
“On Wednesday, I voted in favor of legislation that would give municipalities the option of defined contribution pension plans for new police and firefighter employees. As former President of the Board of Commissioners in Cheltenham Township, I understand the challenge of pension obligation growth. While this legislation would not reduce the approximately $8 billion owed to municipal pension across the state, it would curtail the growth of the pension obligation. At the same time, I have serious reservations regarding SB755 that I hope will be addressed as this legislation advances.
First, income to retirees must not be worse than benefits to state troopers. State and local police should be treated similarly Second, our retired police and firefighters must have adequate replacement income under the new plan. The recommendations of the Auditor General that will soon be announced should be taken into account. Finally, the investments made under the defined contribution plans should be professionally, not individually, managed. Senator Eichelberger, the bill sponsor, has indicated a willingness to discuss these concerns and I hope we can reach an agreement. In voting to move this legislation forward, I hope to advance the conversation.”