Rep. Schmotzer Aims to Ban 'Pension Double Dipping'
The Whitehall man hopes to prevent public employees from collecting more than one state or local government pension.
Martin Michael Schmotzer, a Democrat from Whitehall Borough who represents the 22nd House District of Pennsylvania, including parts of Whitehall and all of Baldwin Township, plans to introduce a bill in the state House of Representatives that would ban public employees from collecting more than one state or local government pension, which Schmotzer labels "pension double dipping."
"Public-sector retirees have the option to return to work at another level of government and continue to receive a pension," Schmotzer said in a news release. "Although the pension benefits of state and public school return-to-service retirees must be frozen while collecting a state paycheck, this is not the case for retirees collecting pensions from various levels of government.
"If these employees so choose, they may accept an additional pension upon meeting all requirements set forth by the designated retirement system. Though this is legal, I find it to be very troublesome.
"Under my proposal, people eligible to receive more than one state or local government pension would have to notify the appropriate pension system of their withdrawal and request a return of their individual contributions paid to the pension fund in addition to the interest accumulated. This would include state, county, city, municipal and school district employees.
"In a time when our state and local government pension systems are underfunded, we face unparalleled budget deficits and our citizens are begging for tax relief, we must explore all cost-saving measures, including pension reform.
"While I understand that pension benefits are a major incentive of public-sector employment, 'pension double dipping' creates additional expenses for the state and local governments, which results in an additional burden for taxpayers."
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