State of Pennsylvania Employee Retirement

The Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) is a multiple-employer, cost-sharing defined benefit plan that manages the pension benefits of nearly 240,000 employees and retirees for 101 public sector employers. It was created in 1923 by the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement Code. The law requires that most state employees be SERS members and, typically, employers automatically enroll new hires.

Pennsylvania Retirement Benefits

SERS offers four types of retirement plans: Defined Benefit Plan, Defined Contribution Plan, Hybrid Plan, and Deferred Compensation Plan.

The Defined Benefit Plan provides a pension or guaranteed monthly payments for life and is available to employees hired before 1/1/19 and certain law enforcement and security positions after.

The Defined Contribution Plan provides the option to choose your own investments and assume the risk and is available to most employees hired after 1/1/19.

The Hybrid Plan provides a combined retirement benefit, which includes a pension and investment plan, and is the default retirement plan for most employees hired after 1/1/19.

The Deferred Compensation Plan provides a voluntary supplemental investment plan with tax deferred savings and is available to most active employees.

Retirement Health Insurance

The Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) does not offer a retiree health care program. However, different SERS employers handle retiree health benefits in different ways.

Most agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction, which comprise the majority of SERS-participating employers, offer the Retired Employees Health Program (REHP).

If you are a Pennsylvania State University retiree, you may be eligible for a Retiree Savings Account, which can be used to purchase health insurance and other qualified medical expenses for you and your eligible dependents. The university will contribute $144 monthly into the account, which is administered by TIAA.