Monday, August 31, 2009

Pittsburgh Officials Try to Amend Pension Reform

Now that the Pennsylvania House has delayed action on Senate-passed legislation on pension reform, Pittsburgh officials are working on an amendment to that measure. Under the Senate bill, municipal pension funds that have less than 50% of the amount needed to meet retirement obligations will be taken over by the state. Pittsburgh's fund has only 28%.
The House was to have voted on the legislation today, but instead the Rules Committee delayed a vote until after Labor Day.
Pittsburgh Council President Doug Shields says that gives the city's Municipal Pension Board some time to develop cogent proposals "to modify and mitigate the impact of what's going to occur....that is get Pittsburgh's Pension system in line and healthy."
Shields says the amendment would be designed to give the city time to come up with the capital for the pension fund through leasing city parking garages or another revenue source. He says that the proposal will not seek to disturb the "overall proportions of the bill" because there are provisions that are very good...."helpful for Pittsburgh and the Commonwealth as a whole."
Mayor Ravenstahl, Shields and other officials met with union leaders and city workers Thursday evening to assure them that their pensions are secure but the reform legislation will lead to less attractive pensions for future city employees.

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