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10 GOP lawmakers forgo their Pa. pension

The Tribune-Review | by Brad Bumsted | February 18, 2013

HARRISBURG - With Pennsylvania facing a state pension crisis, at least 10 Republican lawmakers are refusing pensions that could mean giving up tens of thousands of dollars in retirement, records show.

Rep. Matt Gabler of Clearfield County said he did not "really talk about it" when elected in 2008, but he believes "it's important to lead by example."

Most of those declining participation in the pension system were elected to the 253-member General Assembly within the past seven years. They gave varying reasons for their decision: concern about the constitutionality of lawmakers' pensions, the state's pension shortfall and an unwillingness to compromise their reputations as reformers. Most would need to serve for 10 years to become fully vested for a pension.

"I don't expect taxpayers to pay for my retirement," said freshman Rep. Tom Sankey of Clearfield County. "The system is not solvent. ... I am not going to be part of the problem."

 

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