Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett backs hybrid public pension proposal

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is backing legislation to replace the state's public pension system with a less costly hybrid system.

A spokesman said Wednesday that Corbett was pleased by the Public Employee Retirement Commission's vote to accept analyses of the proposal by actuaries representing the state's two largest public-employee employment systems, Corbett and the commission.

Corbett, whose attempts at pension reform last year failed to garner a legislative majority, has worked with the bill's sponsors behind the scenes for months.

The complex plan would apply to newly hired state and school employees starting next year. It would combine the traditional defined-benefit plan with a 401(k)-style defined contribution plan. Current employees would not be affected.

Actuaries estimate the changes would save billions over 30 years, while shifting the risk from taxpayers to the employees.

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