Reforming the Pension System
Fiscal conservatism and fiscal responsibility, both platforms of my service as a state representative, go hand in hand. These two traits, along with leading by example, are the basis for my support of House Bill 2200, pension reform legislation which has been introduced in the House.

The bill, which I am co-sponsoring, would create a new 401(k)-style retirement plan for General Assembly members and legislative employees as of Nov. 30, 2012. Only new members and staff would be eligible for the plan, which moves the pension system from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan.

The proposal would allow participants in the plan to make contributions through an array of investment options, representing varying degrees of risk. The state would match a portion of the contribution within reason, and vesting will be three years. These guidelines are more reflective of retirement systems currently in effect in the private sector.

While the bill will make no changes in the pension plan under which current participating members and staff are invested, it will affect those currently in office or employed who refused participation in the past but now choose to participate.

In November 2010, I was one of 21 new Republican members to join the House. This bill is a product of the demand that government live within its means, which is what many of our constituents are forced do and one of the reasons they sent us to Harrisburg.

State Representative Joe Emrick
137th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Scott Little
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