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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 22, 2019 11:41 AM
From: Senator Vincent J. Hughes
To: All Senate members
Subject: Spousal Consent to Pension Benefits Election
In the near future, I will introduce legislation to require spousal consent when a retiring commonwealth employee chooses how his or her pension benefit is to be paid. Presently, Pennsylvania does not require spousal consent when an employee retires. Last session this legislation was Senate Bill 197.

As a consequence of current law, a decedent who was a commonwealth 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.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation. If you have any questions please contact my Chief Counsel, Michael Deery, at 717-787-7112 or at Michael.Deery@pasenate.com.

Introduced as SB192