The continuing poor economy and the strain this puts on state, local, and school budgets have turned pension system funding into a serious problem.
In devising remedies, state legislators cannot ignore the interests and perspectives of taxpayers. It would be unfair to try and solve this problem through program reductions and tax increases alone, as some groups are suggesting. Nor is it sufficient to just stretch out the payments once again.
Under the new economic reality, families and businesses in our area have had to make hard adjustments. The same should be required of state government. The generous public pension systems created years ago are no longer sustainable.
There will likely be additional pension reform measures emerging in the coming weeks. Although the benefits workers have earned cannot – and should not – be touched, we can set new rules for new hires, more in line with what most Pennsylvania workers have. The savings are not immediate, but would build up substantially over time.
Contact: Jennifer Wilson