Does anyone really think the state would honor a commitment to make contributions to public employees' individual 401K-style retirement accounts?
The state did not honor its commitment to contribute to the existing retirement systems for 14 consecutive years, leaving Pennsylvania's taxpayers on the hook to the tune of $49 billion and putting the financial security of hundreds of thousands of retirees and public employees at risk.
Follow the lead of the private sector? The first thing employers cut when their budgets tighten are the contributions to their employee 401k plans, if they even provide such plans, which most do not.
More than half of all Pennsylvanians working in the private sector have no retirement plans from their employer of any kind.
Better than 90 percent who do have employer-sponsored retirement plans are accumulating no where near enough to pay their basic living expenses in retirement.
These Republicans advocating that the state follow the lead of the private sector are creating the welfare state they claim to abhor.
Close the existing retirement plans to establish individual retirement accounts for new employees, and Pennsylvania's taxpayers - all of us - will be put on the hook for an additional $42 billion.
(This is the conclusion of three separate, nonpartisan, nationally renowned actuarial firms.)
The so-called "pension reform," as is being advocated by Gov. Corbett and his right-wing supporters in the legislature, is not about saving taxpayers money.
It is about privatizing the investment of public employees' retirement savings and profiting the politicians' Wall Street contributors.
Pennsylvania's newspaper reporters would be well advised to investigate the extent to which entities that stand to profit from this privatization attempt are making campaign contributions to Corbett and his allies in the General Assembly.
Barry N. Kelly, President-elect, PA Association of School Retirees,