National Association of State Retirement Administrators

Pennsylvania

Major public employment retirement systems in Pennsylvania include the Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System (SERS), the Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS), and the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System (PMRS). PA SERS provides benefits for state employees; PSERS provides benefits for schol teachers and other school employees, and PMRS administers pension benefits for municipalities that have elected to participate.

Authorizing Statutes

State Employees

Chapter 241 of the Pennsylvania Code establishes the Public Employees Retirement System.

The State Employees’ Retirement System of Pennsylvania as established by the act of June 27, 1923 (P. L. 858, No. 331), and codified by the act of June 1, 1959.

Chapter 249 describes PERS administrative procedures including the role of the Board.

Educational Employees

Chapter 215 describes administrative duties of the Public School Employees Retirement System Board.

Board Composition

Plan

Board Size

Appointed

Elected

Plan Members

Ex Officio

Pennsylvania State ERS

11

10

0

6

1

Pennsylvania Public School ERS

15

2

6

5

7

Contributions

Per the U.S. Census, in FY 2011, employer contributions to Pennsylvania government pension plans were 1.85 percent of all state and local government direct general spending.

Constitutional Protections

No explicit constitutional protection for public pension benefits, but courts provide protection for contractual pension rights based on impairment of contract principles. Kelley v. State Employees' Retirement Bd., 890 A.2d 1173 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2006)(holding retirement code is in the nature of a contract for pension benefits and unilateral modifications may not be adverse to a member who has met retirement eligibility requirements), affirmed in part, reversed in part, Kelley v. State Employees' Retirement Bd., 593 Pa. 487, 932 A.2d 61 (Pa. 2007) (holding that exclusion of former legislators from Class AA membership was rationally related to preventing substantial burden on retirement system); Association of Pennsylvania State College Faculties v.State System of Higher Education, 479 A.2d 962 (1984)(unilateral modifications in the retirement system may not be adverse to a member who has met retirement eligibility requirements). (PA CONST., Article 1, §17) Source: Robert Klausner, Esq., State Constitutional Protections for Public Sector Retirement Benefits

Flag of Pennsylvania(April 24, 1907)

Population (2015) 12,802,503

Pennsylvania public pension statistics, per U.S. Census Bureau as of FY 2015 ($ in 000s)

Assets

$102,821,065

Active Members

504,444

Annuitants

445,391

Benefits Paid

$10,759,005

Employee Contributions

$1,840,962

Employer Contributions

$5,179,874

Systems

2,260

More Data

Other Resources