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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 16, 2019 03:43 PM
From: Senator Thomas H. Killion
To: All Senate members
Subject: Commonwealth Employee Student Loan Assistance
I plan to introduce legislation that would help Commonwealth employees who are burdened with high monthly student loan payments.

While many Commonwealth employees hope to benefit from the Federal Public Student Loan Forgiveness benefit, recent reports indicate that that Department of Education has only approved debt forgiveness for roughly 1 percent of the 50,000 applicants nationwide.

Pennsylvania is ranked among the top five states for highest average student indebtedness, with an average debt of $35,759. On average nationwide, graduates between the ages of 20-35 pay $351 per month towards student loans.

Specifically, this legislation would allow Commonwealth employees who elect into the defined contribution program to reduce their 7.5 percent contribution by up to $100 per month, if they make a monthly student loan payment. Commonwealth employees could make this election for up to 120 months.

This reduction would provide employees additional income so that they may pay principal payments and reduce the amount of interest over the life of their loan; or reallocate monies for other monthly obligations.

The limit on the reduction would allow employees to continue to contribute a meaningful amount to their retirement plan while balancing everyday financial burdens.

Finally, this legislation provides a ten-year limit so that employees can balance those everyday financial burdens while protecting the long-term defined contribution benefit.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB435