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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: February 13, 2013 05:52 PM
From: Senator Patrick M. Browne and Sen. Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: PSERS - Compliance With Federal Law RE: Military Leaves of Absence
In the near future, we will be introducing legislation to amend Commonwealth statutes to comply with federal law governing military leaves of absence.

PSERS is required to amend the Retirement Code with respect to military leaves of absence to conform to amendments to federal law known as the HEART Act, USERRA and Internal Revenue Code. To maintain its tax qualified status, PSERS must effect these changes for leaves commencing on or after July 1, 2013.

PSERS credit for military leave service is governed by several bodies of law:

Commonwealth Statute
-- the Public School Employees’ Retirement Code
-- the Pennsylvania Military and Veterans Code
-- the Public School Code

Federal law, primarily
-- the HEART Act (Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008)
-- IRC (Internal Revenue Code)
-- USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994)

These bodies of law have different and sometimes inconsistent terms, conditions, requirements and PSERS benefit consequences pertaining to PSERS credit for military leave service. The goal of this legislation is to bring PSERS into compliance with the HEART Act, to conform Pennsylvania law regarding PSERS pension credit for military leave to the federal requirements under the IRC and USERRA, and to remove the inconsistencies in the law through amendments to the Military Code, the School Code and the Retirement Code.

(Please note that the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) has already made these conforming amendments under Act 2012-181, effective for leaves commencing on or after December 31, 2012 because their fiscal year required earlier action.)

Please join us in honoring and securing the retirement benefits of the men and women with military service by co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB797