Governor Tom Corbetts pension reform plan.

             Governor Tom Corbetts administration touted pension reforms as one of the highlights of his new Pennsylvania budgets. Bit his plan has the potential to balloon the already $41 billion unfunded liability by applying new artificial collars to how much the state must pay into the system. But those collars allow Corbett to rehabitate his miserly reputation prior to his bid for reelection.

           The currents crisis in pension funding is because the state failed to pay its share of pension costs, creating the unfunded liability. It is important now because the artificial collars are slowly being lifted to pay off the debt in an orderly manner outlined in Act120 in 2010. This year the state pays 11.5% of payroll for SERS and 12.4% to PSERS. Next year those payments will rise to 16% and 16.75% of payroll and the rates will continue to rise until payments peak at 28% of payroll in 2019, at which time the rates will stay in place for several years before beginning to decline.

              He wants to put state abd school employees into a seperate retirement system that resembles a private sector 401k. He also wants to lower the multiplier used to calculate employee pensions from 2.5% to 2.0% to keep the Public School Employees Retirement System and State Employees Retirement System viable. He is also trying to limit the amount by which the commonwealth employer contributions can be increased.

                In 2000 PSERS was funded at 123.8%, a decade later it was at 69.2%. The governor says the decline can only be fixed by abadoning the defined-benefit plan and replacing it with a 401k for new employees. This puts the investment risk on the emloyee while more than doubling the needed lifetime employee contributions. More than 70% of the PSERS value comes from return on investment. The networth of the pension was hit by $15 billiin during the recession.

              Some are questioning the constitutionality of this because of it breaking a contracts. People are also worried about balancing a budget on something that might be thrown out in court. I further question why the highest paid governor in the country doesnt take a pay cut as a show of good will. We are also in the top 10 highest paid legislatures in the country. If either took a pay cut it would help towards the budget and a show of goid will. But they are protected by the Pa. Constitution where the pension plan is protected by the U.S. Constitution.

              Why didnt Corbett try doing any of this in previous budgets, just the one before reelection. I truly question thus mans motives because if he wanted to straighten out our budget Pa. would be taxing Natural Gas Drillers and using the severance tax with them. That alone would create enough money to avoid education cuts. But I think we will find out in the future what exactly is happening there.

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Pennsylvania doesnt agree with you Governor Corbett.

               80% of Pennsylvanians disagree with selling the lottery to a British Company, in fact to any company. A good majority think that you are guilty if taking illegal gifts. The people Pa. want a Marcellus Shale to be taxed. Corbetts answer are to attack pensions that the hasnt been paying into, essentially punishing the employees who signed a contract with the state.

               Privatizing the Pa. Lottery is going to benefit the people of Pa., how? Penbsylvanians are decrying this effort, we do not want it, but yet you are ignoring the voice of the people. Why Governor Corbett? Some of these people put you in office, do you not work for us? You will not get another term if continuing ignoring the people as you have. Your approval ratings are in the toilet because of the actions you have taken.

              You cry poverty for the state yet refuse to tap into a very lucrative tax income. The Natural Gas Drilling Companies. 85% of the 783 companies do not pay any taxes. We do not have a severance tax on them which woul generate another $400 billion a year. This tax alone cuts Education cuts over the last 2 years in half. But apperently these tax ideas do not come to your mind. Every other state has the tax why not us?

            It is unfortunate that this man is our governer. He does not care about our people as evidenced by him allegedly taking illegal gifts and his support for the poll tax. He is manhandling the state pension plans, even after Act120 was put into effect to alleviate the problem. Corbett will end up being a 1 term governor because he knows more than the people. This is why we vote governor.

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