This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
Democratic Gov. Wolf of Pennsylvania isn’t ruling out a switch to 401(k)-style retirement plans for future state and school employees.
"I think we can actually come up with a pension plan that’s fair to employees and that meets the concerns that have been expressed by taxpayers," said Wolf when asked whether he could sign such a proposal.
After nine days of review, Wolf vetoed a GOP-backed bill Thursday to overhaul the state’s public retirement benefits. The measure’s biggest change would be for new hires of the state and public schools. Instead of a guaranteed pension payout upon retirement, they would invest employee and employer contributions into a 401(k)-style savings plan.
Rather than detailing his position on the proposed shift to a 401(k)-style system, Wolf offered a few other reasons for rejecting the Republicans’ pension bill. He said that one piece of it would have violated federal tax law. He also wants to see immediate savings to help school districts facing big pension bills. For that short-term relief, Wolf has proposed borrowing money.