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Tobash Holds Final Pension Hearing in Harrisburg - Expert testimony examines opportunities to achieve savings of $3 billion
HARRISBURG – Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Dauphin), chairman of the Public Pension Management and Asset Investment Review Commission (PPMAIRC), and Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella today convened the last of three informational hearings to examine the need for improvements in transparency around investment expenses and returns of the Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) and the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS).

“Testimony from this hearing proves that changes to the system are needed to ensure workers --past, present and future -- enjoy a competitive retirement benefit without overburdening taxpayers,” said Tobash. “Unaddressed, this has a negative impact on the Commonwealth’s business growth. Job creators need to have confidence that taxes will remain consistent and stable, and the Commonwealth will be able to continue to provide core services to businesses and their employees.”

The commission heard testimony from Dr. Marcel Staub, founding partner and CEO, Novarca Group, an independent cost specialist manager for institutional investors focusing exclusively on the analysis, negotiation and management of all commissions and fees. Staub shared the results from a costs and fee analysis, along with a presentation about best-practice recommendations to achieve cost reductions while keeping the existing risk/return exposure.

“The testimony received has provided the commission with a full view of the scope of the pension issue,” said Torsella. “This work is about one thing: making the pension system stronger so that we can keep our promises to our nurses, teachers and thousands of others who have spent a life of hard work in service to Pennsylvanians. The commission will now prepare a report of its findings and recommendations, so that we can do better for our beneficiaries and for the Commonwealth as a whole.”

The commission was established in 2017 under the broader pension reforms of Act 5 of 2017 to conduct a comprehensive review of PSERS and SERS investment management. As part of its evaluation, the commission will:
  • Recommend improvements to SERS and PSERS stress testing and fee reporting transparency.
  • Analyze SERS and PSERS assets, investment strategies, investment performance, fees, costs and procedures against established benchmarks.
  • Develop a plan to identify $1.5 billion in cost savings over 30 years for each of the two systems.
In today’s final hearing, commission members also heard from investment consultant, Dr. Charley Ellis, along with Dr. Ashby Monk of Stanford University and representatives from SERS and PSERS.

The commission will now complete its review of PSERS and SERS, and report findings and recommendations to the governor and the General Assembly.

For more information about this hearing, or any other state-related issue, contact Tobash’s district office in Schuylkill Haven located at 988 East Main St., by calling 570-385-8235. Information can also be found online at or

Representative Mike Tobash
125th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Rick Leiner
717.260.6437 (office), 717.497.8478 (cell) /

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