Teachers union demands leadership changes at embattled PSERS pension fund

Link: https://www.post-gazette.com/news/state/2021/05/21/Teachers-union-demands-leadership-changes-at-embattled-PSERS-pension-fund/stories/202105210131


A union that represents 61,000 schoolteachers statewide called on most of the board of the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System to resign amid an ongoing FBI investigation.

“Through alleged errors and omissions, and under a shroud of secrecy, this PSERS Board appears to have jeopardized the present and future financial security of our Commonwealth’s most dedicated public servants,” Arthur Steinberg, president of the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, wrote in a letter to PSERS board members.

In the letter, Mr. Steinberg called for every board member appointed prior to January 2021 to immediately resign. That would reduce the 15-member board to two: the newly elected State Treasurer Stacy Garrity, a Republican, and state Sen. Katie Muth, D-Montgomery County.

Author(s): WALLACE MCKELVEY, pennlive.com

Publication Date: 21 May 2021

Publication Site: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Keeping promises to pensioners

Link: https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/editorials/2021/03/20/Keeping-promises-to-pensioners/stories/202103050023


In 2018, administrators of the Western Pennsylvania Teamsters and Employers Pension Fund announced it would cut benefits by 30% for 17,000 Pittsburgh-area retirees or their beneficiary survivors. The cut was needed to avoid insolvency and an accompanying collapse of the pension structure. Now, it is expected that those cuts will be restored.

Pension protection is critical, both for its morality and for its necessity. Pensions are a lifeline for older citizens. They should not lose their retirement money at the time they are depending on it — when they are no longer able or intending to work. The alternative reasonably could be poverty.

Were it not for the language in the new federal law, many people who spent decades toiling in union jobs would be in jeopardy of losing their benefits through no wrongdoing on their part. Forces conspired to put their retirement plans at risk. These are plans that were negotiated. These are plans that were promised. Nonetheless, many of the employers have gone out of business and have left their pension liabilities inadequately funded.

Author(s): Editorial board

Publication Date: 20 March 2021

Publication Site: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette