April 24, 2017
House State Government Committee
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Re: Removal of PSBA from PSERS
On behalf of the 4,500 elected officials who govern the commonwealth’s public school districts, we are writing to request your support of House Bill 205 sponsored by Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill, to be considered at your House State Government Committee meeting on Tuesday April 25th at 10:00am.
House Bill 205 removes future employees of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) from participation in the Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS). At the time when PSBA hired its first employee, the PA Attorney General ruled that the association is an extension of local districts, and funded by them to provide information, training, publications, services and advocacy on their behalf. As a result, association employees are currently required to become members of PSERS at the current contribution rate upon hiring, and PSBA is required to pay the ever-increasing employer contribution. Since that time, PSBA employer and employee contributions to PSERS have been noted in the PSERS annual report, accepted by state treasurers, and reviewed and approved by auditors general through their regular review of the retirement system.
Despite this long history, PSBA believes it is important to lead the reform that it advocates for its members: PSERS reform that will save school employers money and provide employer flexibility in benefits offered to employees.
While this bill does not address the significant problems with the unfunded liability of the Public Employee Retirement System, we believe that PSBA must lead through example. I want to thank you for the time and attention. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at (717) 506-2450 x3337.
John M. Callahan, Assistant Executive Director for Public Policy/Chief Lobbyist