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Policy Development Reports

List of Reports sorted by Date Published

Funding and Reforming Public Employee Retirement Systems (January 2013)

Divestment and Pennsylvania's Public Employee Retirement Systems (October 2007)

Issues Associated with Extending Commonwealth-Subsidized Healthcare Coverage to the Surviving Spouses of Certain Retired Commonwealth Employees (March 2006)

Public Pension Policy and Funding Considerations Associated with the Implementation of a Statewide Volunteer Firefighter Retirement System In Pennsylvania (March 2004)

Selected Issues Related to Governmental Defined Benefit & Defined Contribution Pension Plans (December 2002)

Special Report: Deferred Retirement Option Plans (DROPs)
(March 2002)

Funding Cost of Living Adjustments (November 2000)

Service Purchase Authorizations for Pennsylvania Public Employee Retirement Systems (March 1997)

Fiscal Impact of the Early Retirement Incentive for Public School Employees Provided by Act 186 of 1992 and Act 29 of 1994
(March 1996)

Feasibility of Early Retirement Incentives in the Public Sector
(March 1995)

Rate of Employer Contribution for the Alternate Retirement Program (October 1994)

Special Report: Study of the Current Structure of Local Government Retirement Systems and Recommended Establishment of a Statewide Retirement System (December 1992)

Study of Employer Contribution Rate for Optional Alternate Retirement Program under Act 78 of 1987 (October 1991)

Fiduciary Responsibility and Liability for Pennsylvania Local Government Retirement Systems (February 1989)

Study of Method of Setting Employer Contribution Rates to Alternate Retirement Programs (March 1987)

Special Study of Cost of Living Post Retirement Adjustments for Municipal Police Officers and Municipal Firefighters (October 1984)

Report of the Public Employee Retirement Study Commission on Post Retirement  (March 1984)

Recommendation of Actuarial Funding Standards and a Recovery Program for Municipal Pension Systems (January 1983)

Special Report
Report on the Commission’s study of the current pension funding crisis, its causes, and the potential reforms available under the strictures of judicial rulings. The study incorporates a review of existing laws, the funding status of Pennsylvania’s public employee pension plans, treatises and reports of various universities and other institutions and organizations, and the nature and effect of reform efforts undertaken in other jurisdictions, and the remarks of a number of witnesses who appeared and testified at Commission hearings in the autumn of 2012.

Funding and Reforming Public Employee Retirement Systems

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Special Report: Divestment and Pennsylvania Public Employee Retirement Systems (October 2007) discusses and analyzes the effect of legislatively mandated divestment of securities in corporations doing business in or with certain politically, socially, or morally repugnant countries or activities, by public employee retirement systems.  The report presents a general discussion of the issues, summaries of analytical studies of prior economic sanction programs, including their cost and effectiveness, legal concerns regarding federal preemption of foreign affairs, difficulties in identifying targeted corporations, and cost projections if the two State retirement systems were subjected to mandatory divestment.

2007 Divestment Report 

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Issues Associated with Extending Commonwealth-Subsidized Healthcare Coverage to the Surviving Spouses of Certain Retired Commonwealth Employees   (March 2006) This report was prepared by the Commission in response to House Resolution Number 161, which was adopted by the House of Representatives on September 27, 2005. The report contains a discussion of the Retire Employee Health Program(REHP), including current program benefits, administration and financing, presents the Commission's findings on the potential cost impact of extending eligibility for subsidized healthcare benefits to spouse beneficiaries through the REHP, and addresses associated implementation and funding issues.

2006 HR 161 Report

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Public Pension Policy and Funding Considerations Associated with the Implementation of a Statewide Volunteer Firefighter Retirement System In Pennsylvania  (March 2004)  Provides background information on the role and current status of the volunteer fire service in Pennsylvania, describes the findings of the Commission's survey of volunteer firefighter retirement plans and presents the Commission's conclusions based upon the survey findings.  The report also discusses the salient policy considerations associated with the implementation of a statewide retirement plan for volunteer firefighters and presents the Commission's recommendations on those policy considerations to provide a conceptual framework for any subsequent enabling legislation.

2004 SRPVF Report

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Selected Issues Related to Governmental Defined Benefit & Defined Contribution Pension Plans.  (December 2002) This report to the General Assembly was required by House Resolution Number 266, which was adopted on June 21, 2001, and directed the Commission to undertake a study of the relative advantages and disadvantages of defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans. The report includes a general description of defined benefit and defined contribution plan designs, an analysis of national trend data with respect to the two retirement plan types, and discussions of cost and implementation considerations.

DBDC Report   House Resolution 266

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Special Report: Deferred Retirement Option Plans (DROPs).  (March 2002) DROPs represent a means to permit retired public employees to continue employment while their monthly pension benefits are being accumulated in a separate account to be distributed to the employee after separation from employment. This report to the General Assembly discusses the advantages and disadvantages of DROPs from employer and employee perspectives, provides a framework for the establishment of DROPs to ensure compatibility with local government retirement statutes and contains draft legislation to implement the recommendations developed in the report.

DROP Report

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 Funding Cost of Living Adjustments. (November 2000) This report to the General Assembly was required by Senate Resolution Number 103, adopted in the Session of 1999, that directed the Commission to study the funding methods used for cost of living adjustments in Pennsylvania and other states and to report its findings and recommendations on funding future cost of living adjustments.

 Funding Cost of Living Adjustments Report

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Service Purchase Authorizations for Pennsylvania Public Employee Retirement Systems. (March 1997) Among the more frequently recurring subjects in the proposed legislation that the Commission has been requested to review are authorizations to purchase service credits in public employee retirement systems for various types of currently noncreditable service. The Commission studied the subject in some depth in order to establish a consistent policy framework within which to evaluate these proposals. The report contained the Commission's recommendations as guidance to the policymakers in the executive and legislative branches in discussing, developing, and adopting future changes in purchase of service credit provisions. 

Service Purchase Authorizations Report

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 Fiscal Impact of the Early Retirement Incentive for Public School Employees Provided by Act 186 of 1992 and Act 29 of 1994.  (March 1996) This report was required by House Resolution 52 of 1995 that directed the Commission to study the long term financial ramifications of Act 186 of 1992 and Act 29 of 1994, which granted an early retirement incentive to public school employees.  

Fiscal Impact of the Early Retirement Incentive for Public School Employees provided by Act 186 of 1992 and Act 29 of 1994

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  Feasibility of Early Retirement Incentives in the Public Sector. (March 1995) This report provides general information on the effectiveness of early retirement incentive programs, discusses the technical aspects of early retirement incentive programs, and analyzes the Commonwealth's experience with them to date. The report also provides specific recommendations with respect to the design and implementation of any future early retirement incentive programs at the state level.

Feasibility of Early Retirement Incentives in the Public Sector

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Rate of Employer Contribution for the Alternate Retirement Program. (October 1994) This report was required by the act of November 30, 1992 (P.L. 737, No. 1992-112), that required the Commission to study the contribution rate and recommend an employer contribution rate for the optional alternate retirement program, which the act required to "be designed to produce parity of contributions between the alternate retirement program and the State Employees' Retirement System program."

Rate of Employer Contribution for the Alternate Retirement Program Report

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Special Report: Study of the Current Structure of Local Government Retirement Systems and Recommended Establishment of a Statewide Retirement System. (December 1992) This report described the current situation of the more than 2,600 local government retirement systems, discussed the remedial alternatives and recommended implementing a transition to one statewide retirement system for local government employees.

Study of the Current Structure of Local Government Retirement Systems

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 Study of Employer Contribution Rate for Optional Alternate Retirement Program under Act 78 of 1987 . (October 1991) This report was required by Act 78 of 1987 that required the Commission to study the contribution rate and recommend an employer contribution rate for the optional alternate retirement program, which the act required to "be designed to produce parity of contributions between the alternate retirement program and the State Employes' Retirement System program."

Study of Act 78

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Fiduciary Responsibility and Liability for Pennsylvania Local Government Retirement Systems. (February 1989) The Commission noted the lack of a fiduciary responsibility and liability standard for local government employee retirement systems as a significant deficiency in the laws governing these systems. This report was undertaken to develop and recommend a clear performance standard for all aspects of local government retirement system administration. The report contained a set of recommendations as a frame of reference for the formulation of proposed legislation on the topic and provided draft legislation as a point of departure for further discussion and action.

Fiduciary Responsibility and Liability Report 

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Study of Method of Setting Employer Contribution Rates to Alternate Retirement Programs. (March 1987) This report was required by the act of December 15, 1986, P.L. 1597, No. 1986-176, to ascertain the most appropriate method to set annual employer contribution rates to optional alternate retirement programs so as to insure parity between employer contribution rates to SERS and the alternate employee retirement program available to higher education employees. The General Assembly followed the recommendations in this report in enacting Act 89 of 1987.

Setting Employer Contribution Rates Report 

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Special Study of Cost of Living Post Retirement Adjustments for Municipal Police Officers and Municipal Firefighters. (October 1984) In response to a request by the Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police and the Pennsylvania State Firefighters' Association, the Commission conducted this study to compile and present information needed for deliberations concerning the provision of cost of living post retirement adjustments for retired municipal police officers and firefighters. The report identified the number of retirees and other benefit recipients, presented information on the amount of retirement benefits being received, and presented various alternative approaches to the implementation of cost of living post retirement adjustments.  

 Special Study

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Report of the Public Employee Retirement Study Commission on Post Retirement Adjustments. (March 1984) Sets forth policy guidelines on the authorization, design and funding of post retirement benefit increases for public employee retirement systems. The report was directed to policy makers at both the state and local levels. 

Post Retirement Adjustments Report

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Recommendation of Actuarial Funding Standards and a Recovery Program for Municipal Pension Systems. (January 1983) The report was issued in response to a priority task set forth in the legislation which established the Public Employee Retirement Study Commission. Act 66 of 1981 directed the Commission to recommend legislative reforms for municipal pension systems during its first year of operation. As specifically directed by the Act, the report recommended the implementation of a mandatory actuarial funding standard for all municipal pension systems and a comprehensive recovery program for financially distressed municipal pension systems. The report included draft legislation to implement the Commission's recommendations. As a result of this report, the General Assembly enacted the Municipal Pension Plan Funding Standard and Recovery Act (Act 205 of 1984).   

  Report on Act 205

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