Next year's revenue growth is expected to be nearly
$819 million. Of that total growth, pension costs are projected to claim about 62 percent. That translates to more than
$511 million that could have been spent on programs and services. Without any pension reform, the state must continue spending reductions to account for this amount in balancing its budget.
While the report paints a stark picture of the pension crisis in Pennsylvania, it also outlines a framework for developing a solution to the crisis. It calls for a unified approach to pension reform involving the General Assembly, stakeholder groups and the pension systems. The goal will be to build long-term stability to the pension systems and make them more affordable for the state and, ultimately, the taxpayer.
"The taxpayers did not create this problem, nor did commonwealth or school district employees. As we move forward, we must keep the taxpayer top of mind and not harm current and past employees," added Zogby. "We will not touch accrued benefits, nor will we allow the pension problem to continue for future generations. We need to fix this problem for the future stability of both the pension systems and the commonwealth's budget."
"Over the next several months, it is my hope that by working together we can begin to institute meaningful reform."
The Keystone Pension Report is available for download at www.budget.state.pa.us.Media contact: Jay Pagni, 717-787-2542 SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Budget