PA Senate May Add Billions to Pension Costs

Member Group : Commonwealth Foundation

This week, the Pennsylvania Senate is scheduled to vote on House Bill 2497—which will cost our kids and grandkids billions in future costs and lost opportunities. This is not reform at all—it is a bailout for politically connected labor union bosses.

Some argue that HB 2497 is just a "first step" toward pension reform. But we’ve heard this before. Remember when we were told that gambling was the "first step" toward property tax relief? It, too, was the first and last we heard of giving homeowners any tax reductions.

Real pension reform consists of moving to a defined-contribution, 401k-type retirement plan for new employees, just as virtually all of the private sector has done over the years. Only by making retirement costs current, predictable, and affordable can Pennsylvania get out of the pension crisis that threatens the economic vitality of the state.

Public employee union lobbyists are working hard for HB 2497 because they know only a lame-duck governor like Ed Rendell would sign it. Unfortunately, Senate GOP leaders, who have taken millions in union campaign contributions, are currently going along with the deal before Election Day.

Please join us tomorrow at 11:30 for an online chat on the effects of HB 2497 and what true pension reform looks like.


1. Contact your State Senator and urge them to vote against HB2497 and support true pension reform.

2. Join our online chat at 11:30 am tomorrow on the effects of HB2497.

3. Write a letter-to-the-editor urging the General Assembly and the Governor to reform public pensions.

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The Commonwealth Foundation ( is an independent, non-profit public policy research and educational institute based in Harrisburg, PA.