Think tank criticizes Corbett pension reform plan


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HARRISBURG — A labor union-affiliated think tank is attacking Gov. Tom Corbett's latest plan for reining in Pennsylvania's public employee pension costs.

Stephen Herzenberg, director of the Keystone Research Center, said Monday the proposal sponsored by Rep. Mike Tobash and backed by the governor would force draconian cuts in pension benefits for future school and state employees.

Herzenberg says the “hybrid" plan, which would join a limited traditional pension with a 401(k)-style defined contribution plan, also would save only about $3 billion in today's dollars.

Actuaries for the Pennsylvania Employee Retirement Commission, which cleared the bill for legislative action last week, say the changes would shift considerable risk onto newly hired employees and save between $12 billion and $14 billion over 30 years.

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