Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf Softens Stance on Pension Overhaul As Budget Stalemate Drags On

What Tom Wolf’s Win Means For Pennsylvania Pensions

Under pressure to resolve a budget stalemate that has gone on for over a month, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf – previously staunchly opposed to any pension reforms that cut benefits – may be softening his position.

He is now on board with a plan that would switch new, high-earning hires into a defined contribution plan.

More from PennLive:

Wolf’s team is supposedly prepared to offer a pension reform program that would contain a change to benefits for future state and school employees that would include a “stacked hybrid” plan of the type championed by House Republican members in the 2013-14 legislative session.

That is new for the governor, who in the past has said that he felt pension changes adopted in 2010 for employees hired after 2011 were affordable and sufficient.

Wolf is suggesting maintaining a defined benefit plan for employees earning under $100,000 and starting a defined contribution pension plan for future school and state employees whose earnings top that threshold.

That is a level that would capture only about 6 percent of the state workforce at present, and as little as 4 percent of the school district workforce based on current salary numbers. Sources said they questioned whether the revised Wolf plan would really produce any meaningful savings.

Wolf is also still pushing his plan for a $3 billion pension bond.


Photo by Governor Tom Wolf via Flickr CC License

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