Lawmakers Decline Pensions

Member Group : Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania

John Baer has an interesting article at the website. He put together a comprehensive list of Representatives and Senators who have opted out of the legislative pension and/or the legislative healthcare package. Two Senators, Mike Folmer and Scott Wagner have opted out of both the pension and healthcare system. Three representatives have opted out of the healthcare only.

From the article:

"Lawmakers can sign up for pensions at any time.

"But 15 others, including Philly Democratic Rep. Brian Sims, are not enrolled.

"Sims, a lawyer, says he has his own financial planning: "I’m not in the Legislature to collect a pension. That’s not why I ran."

"Others not listed in the pension system: Democratic Reps. Brian Barbin, Cambria County; and Margo Davidson, Delaware County; GOP Reps. Stephen Bloom, Cumberland County; Matt Gabler, Clearfield County; Warren Kampf, Chester County; Fred Keller, Snyder County; John Lawrence, Chester County; John McGinnis, Blair County; and Rick Saccone, Washington County.

"Also, GOP Reps. Thomas Sankey, Clearfield County; Justin Simmons, Lehigh County; RoseMarie Swanger, Lebanon County; Jesse Topper, Bedford County; and Dan Truitt, Chester County.

"So, 17 Republicans and three Democrats – a total of 20 of 253 lawmakers, or 8 percent – aren’t partaking of at least one high-cost, taxpayer-provided perk."

While CAP probably would not find much else to agree with Rep. Sims about as far as policy, we can certainly appreciate his sentiment when it comes to accepting a pension.

Pennsylvania would be in much better shape if more Representatives and Senators followed the example of these twenty men and women. The good news is that during the last primary election cycle approximately twenty candidates made opting out of the pension a part of their campaign. That is an encouraging trend.
As politicians come courting your vote this November be sure to ask them if they’ll be accepting the pension.

Note: It is also worth mentioning that although lawmakers can opt into the pension anytime, it is illegal to opt out. In case you are curious, nine out of the seventeen Republicans who have opted out of the pension are CAP members:

Sen. Wagner
Sen. Folmer
Rep. Bloom
Rep. McGinnis
Rep. Saccone
Rep. Sankey
Rep. Simmons
Rep. Swanger
Rep. Truitt

Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania (CAP) is a non-profit organization founded to raise the standard of living of all Pennsylvanians by restoring limited government, economic freedom, and personal responsibility. By empowering the Commonwealth’s employers and taxpayers to break state government’s "Iron Triangle" of career politicians, bureaucrats, and Big Government lobbyists, this restoration will occur and Pennsylvania will prosper.

Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania | P.O. Box 6726 | Harrisburg | PA | 17112