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Lewis Votes to Protect Pensions and Taxpayers
HARRISBURG – To protect taxpayers and support future hires, Rep. Harry Lewis Jr. (R-Chester) voted in favor of pension reform legislation that would save billions and provide all new state and school district employees with three plan options, including two hybrid choices and a defined contribution-only plan. The bill now awaits Gov. Tom Wolf’s signature.

The historic plan, which received bipartisan support, would save more than $5 billion. An additional savings of up to $3 billion is projected as a result of reduced costs and fees for investment management.

“The fundamental changes to the current pension system would provide taxpayers with some protection in case of economic downturns, and all new employees would have three choices of how to handle their retirement savings,” Lewis said. “Employees would be able to consider their comfort with risk and portability when choosing what would work best for them – a benefit that is not currently available.”

The legislation would create plans for new state employees that are hired on or after Jan. 1, 2019, for SERS and July 1, 2019, for education system employees. These three options would be available to the new employees:

  • A side-by-side defined benefit/defined contribution hybrid plan with a 1 percent accrual rate.
  • A side-by-side defined benefit/defined contribution hybrid plan with a 1.25 percent accrual rate (this will be the default plan if no election is made by the employee).
  • A defined contribution-only option.
“Without making changes to the current pension system, existing retirees and employees face concern that the benefits they earned may not be available. However, this bill would stabilize their pensions and help to reduce taxpayer contributions over time,” Lewis added.

Representative Harry Lewis
74th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Alison Evans
717.260.6206 /

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