Consider those opposing pension reform

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The Post-Gazette's news report on a joint press conference by state Treasurer Rob McCord and the Keystone Research Center ("Corbett's Pension Overhaul Disputed," Feb. 27) leaves the misimpression that the Corbett administration has not fully briefed legislators and the public on the details of our pension reform plan.

The fact is that the administration has carefully charted out the prospects for taxpayers with and without a switch from a defined benefit to a defined contribution plan for new state employees.

Without reform, taxpayers will be on the hook for an exponentially growing debt that will have to come from the annual general budget while crowding out the budgets for education, social services and public safety. This crowding out would likely take place even with hefty tax increases simply to cover a pension system that has become unsustainable.

It is important to acknowledge that Treasurer McCord and the Keystone Research Center are both the beneficiaries of support from the same public sector unions most invested in retaining the old, broken system no matter what its cost to taxpayers.

The Keystone Research Center, far from being an impartial analyst of public policy, last year received in excess of $140,000 in underwriting from public sector unions, and 10 of its 22 board positions are filled by officials of those same groups.

Possibly, this is why neither Mr. McCord nor the Keystone Research Center offered their own plan to solve the growing pension debt. They must answer to special interests that have the highest stake in preserving the current system at whatever the cost.

Governor's Budget Office



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