Pennsylvania House panel advances GOP pension bill, but narrows breadth of changes

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HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — Republicans are abandoning a plan to seek billions of dollars in concessions from current employees in legislation to scale back benefits in Pennsylvania's two major public pension systems.

A House committee amended Senate legislation Saturday to remove the provision. Overall, the bill is designed to end the traditional pension benefit for most future state government and public school employees, and instead divert them into a 401(k)-style retirement plan.

Another change made by the House State Government Committee would preserve the traditional pension benefit for various classes of law enforcement employees, including state troopers and corrections officers.

Its backers estimate it'll save $12.5 billion in payments over 30 years on a pension debt that's currently estimated at $53 billion. It wouldn't reduce near-term pension costs for the state or school districts.

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