Pennsylvania lawmakers try anew to overhaul public pensions

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Republican lawmakers in the Pennsylvania Legislature are making a new attempt to overhaul benefits in Pennsylvania’s two large public pension systems.

A bill approved in a party-line committee vote Tuesday night goes next to up-or-down votes in the Republican-controlled House and Senate. It is a variation of legislation that Republicans have tried unsuccessfully for several years to pass. It arrives at the end of the two-year legislative session.

The bill would reduce traditional pension benefits for newly hired state government and public school employees and add plan options that rely on a 401(k)-style benefit.

The changes wouldn’t yield any short-term savings for the state and school districts, but supporters say it’ll help shield them from spikes in pension obligations in the future.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf was non-committal on the bill.

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