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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: February 2, 2015 01:30 PM
From: Representative Mary Jo Daley
To: All House members
Subject: Fair Representation on State and Public Employee Retirement Boards
In the near future, I will be reintroducing legislation to amend Title 24 (Education) and Title 71 (State Government) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to ensure that appointments to the Public School Employees’ Retirement Board and State Employees’ Retirement Board are proportional to the gender composition of their respective memberships. If you may recall, this legislation was previously introduced by Representative Molchany as House Bill 2544 during the 2013-2014 legislative session.

Both the Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) and the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) have a significant number of women members. However, women are not adequately represented on either of these systems’ boards.

Women account for the vast majority of the PSERS membership. Of the 267,428 active PSERS members, 73%, are women. Of the 189,170 retirees and beneficiaries, 66%, are women. On the PSERS board, however, only three (3), including the secretary of education as an ex officio member, of its fifteen (15) member board are women.

The situation is the same for SERS. Although women make up nearly half, or 48%, of the SERS membership, its nine (9) member board includes no women at all.

This proposal addresses proportional gender representation for each retirement system’s governing board. For PSERS, this proposal requires one of the two Public School Employees’ Retirement Board members appointed by the governor to be female. If the percentage of female PSERS members exceeds 75%, then both gubernatorial appointees must be female. This bill would also encourage the legislature to seek gender proportionality in appointments.

For SERS, this legislation would similarly ensure more women be appointed to board positions. This proposal would require the six State Employees’ Retirement Board members appointed by the governor be proportional to the gender of all active, inactive, and retired members of SERS. This bill would also encourage the legislature to seek gender representation on the board in relation to the composition of SERS membership.

The disparity in gender composition between the board and membership of both PSERS and SERS is striking. The hard working women who teach our children and provide essential Commonwealth services deserve equal representation on the boards that make decisions affecting their future and families.

Please join me in supporting legislation to make the boards of PSERS and SERS representative of their memberships.

Introduced as HB867