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05/25/2024 12:08 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: April 3, 2023 09:12 AM
From: Representative Brad Roae
To: All House members
Subject: Getting cost of COLA before we vote on it
Recently, the House and Senate Democratic Policy Committees held a joint hearing advocating for a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to be granted to retirees in the Public School Employee Retirement System (PSERS) and the State Employee Retirement System (SERS).
At this time, the Commonwealth and each of our school districts continue to struggle under the burden of extremely high pension contribution rates necessary to pay down these systems’ $60 billion unfunded liabilities. Any increase in pension benefits would further add to this burden.
Given the clear hope of the Democratic caucuses in the General Assembly to put forward a COLA proposal in the near future, I believe it is vital that all legislators have sufficient information regarding the retirement systems’ finances prior to any vote on a COLA. As such, I intend to propose legislation that would advance the deadline for each system to complete its pension stress test, ensuring that the extent of the negative financial impact of a proposed COLA can be known prior to a House vote on the issue. This analysis would also help to determine how much higher the employer contribution rates, and in turn the school property tax rate, would have to be in order to accommodate a retiree COLA.
If you agree that we should have more complete information on the stress PSERS and SERS are already under, and how much more a COLA would impose, prior to any vote, please consider adding your name as a cosponsor.

Introduced as HB1701