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Pennsylvania State Senate
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: June 11, 2014 11:21 AM
From: Senator Vincent J. Hughes
To: All Senate members
Subject: Spousal Consent to Pennsylvania State Pension Benefit Elections
 
Presently Pennsylvania does not require spousal consent when a retiring state employee chooses how his or her pension benefits should be paid.

In the near future I will introduce legislation which will address this inherent inequity.

As a consequence of current law, a decedent who was a state employee may select a pension benefit that does not provide continuing payments to his or her spouse in the event he or she passes before the spouse. The law does not require notice to or consent of the spouse should the state employee make such a selection.

The federal government in an effort to protect each spouse from his or her spouse’s selection of a pension benefit which does not provide income security to both spouses passed the Retirement Equity Act of 1984.

My legislation would be modeled after the federal legislation and provide protections for the spouse who is not a member of the state retirement plan.

The legislation is part of phase two of the legislative agenda for the Women’s Health Caucus.