FreedomWorks Backs Pension Reform Proposed by Pennsylvania Senate

FreedomWorks today urged the Pennsylvania Senate to pass its version of reforms to the state pension programs, the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) and Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS). The Senate’s proposed “side-by-side” pension reform addresses the long-term crisis facing state pension programs in a comprehensive and responsible way, significantly reducing the risk to taxpayers. FreedomWorks has driven nearly 30,000 messages to senators urging them to pass the upper chamber’s proposed pension reform plan.

“Pennsylvania needs real pension reform. The Commonwealth’s pension programs face nearly $57 billion in unfunded liabilities, and lawmakers can’t continue to kick the can down the road. The General Assembly must act this year,” said FreedomWorks CEO Adam Brandon. “The pension reform proposal offered by the Senate would save taxpayers $4 billion and ensure the security of retirement benefits for state workers.”

In June, the state House passed its version of pension reform. The lower chamber’s “stacked hybrid” proposal, however, doesn’t go far enough and fails to reduce the potential risk to taxpayers, putting the purported savings in doubt. Gov. Tom Wolf (D-Penn.) has indicted that he would sign either the House or Senate’s proposed plans.

“The Commonwealth is not alone in this crisis. States face more than $3 trillion in unfunded public pension liabilities. With the plan originally offered by the Senate, the Commonwealth has the opportunity to become the gold standard for pension reform in the United States and avoid serious budget problems down the road,” Brandon added.

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