Re. the Feb. 7 editorial “Corbett's budget: Likes & red flags”: The governor calls his defined-contribution retirement system for new state employees — including all public schools calls employees — a “commonsense move.”
In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Studies repeatedly have shown that the current defined-benefit system not only offers more retirement security, but is easier and less costly to administer than defined-contribution plans. This is because it works with one large pool of funds, allowing a diversified mix of investments resulting in better returns.
West Virginia and Nebraska both tried defined-contribution plans, only to return to defined-benefit programs for their employees. As originally designed, 401(k) plans were meant to supplement an employee's defined-benefit plan, not replace it.
Changing Pennsylvania's defined-benefit system to a 401(k) or some hybrid combination would compromise the strength of the Public School Employees' Retirement System for current and future retirees and ultimately cost the taxpayers of Pennsylvania far more than the current defined-benefit plan.
I have asked my state representative and senator to oppose any attempt to undermine PSERS through the implementation of defined-contribution plans. I urge all current and retired state employees to do the same.
Don't let our pensions fall victim to Corbett's ill-advised scheme.
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