Reform pensions now
By The Tribune-Review
Published: Thursday, April 11, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
The defined-benefit pension plan is a relic of the past. Most companies long ago shifted to more cost-effective offerings, such as the 401(k).
The time has come to eliminate overly expensive, taxpayer-funded defined-benefits systems before they bankrupt Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) joins with Gov. Tom Corbett and other stakeholders in urging the General Assembly to take action before the cost of funding Pennsylvania's Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS) and State Employees' Retirement System (SERS) overwhelms our state budget.
The systems' combined unfunded liability is more than $41 billion. Over the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 budget cycles, Pennsylvania's contributions to fund PSERS and SERS are expected to increase by more than $2 billion.
The budgetary impact will be a significant crowding-out of funding on the rest of the commonwealth's vital programs and services. These systems are simply no longer sustainable.
The PICPA Fiscal Responsibility Task Force has offered a number of policy options to address the crisis. The PICPA believes pension reform must include addressing the nature of the benefit type as well as funding the obligations already promised to current employees and retirees. The task-force report is at picpa.org/fiscal .
The time to play the blame game is over and, at this crisis point, irrelevant. Kicking the can down the road is no longer an option. Real, measurable public pension reform is needed now.
Robert C. Jazwinski
The writer, a CPA, is president of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ukraine & history
- Funding priorities questioned
- Apollo-Ridge excellence
- Orwellian redefinitions
- Keep Laurel Point
- Prison plan & the public’s say
- Stalin, Hitler, now Putin
- Proven success
- Shredded Wheat & ‘Low T’