Rick Dreyfuss is a Senior Fellow with the Commonwealth Foundation.
Rick is an actuary and business consultant. He worked for The Hershey Company (formerly Hershey Foods Corporation) for 21 years, and held numerous positions there, including director of compensation and benefits, prior to his retirement in 2002. Rick also chaired the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council from 2001–2002.
Rick is a pension and health care expert who has written and testified before Congress and the Pennsylvania General Assembly on strategies to effectively manage long-term employee benefit costs.
Rick is a graduate of Connecticut College, with a B.A. in mathematics and economics. He earned his master’s degree in actuarial science at Northeastern University.
Public Union Democracy
Our Collision Course with Pa.’s Pension Iceberg
As Pennsylvania continues approaching the public pension iceberg at full speed, how can we avoid a collision? Simply put, through reforms that mirror steps taken by the private sector years…
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Beneath the Surface: The Pennsylvania Public Pension Saga–Ten Years Later
Pennsylvania government employee-benefit plans operate in a vacuum. In a world where private-sector benefit cutbacks and cost reductions occur on a daily basis, state government in Harrisburg has not responded…
MemoRead More: Beneath the Surface: The Pennsylvania Public Pension Saga–Ten Years Later
Senate Seeks to End Generational Theft
This week, Senate Majority Whip Pat Browne, Sen. Mike Brubaker, Senate Appropriations Chair Jake Corman, and Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi announced plans to introduce pension reform legislation. The…
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Public Union Democracy
Pennsylvania’s Pension Iceberg
Laura Olson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a story on the crisis in Pennsylvania’s public pensions, and Gov. Corbett injecting pension reform into the budget discussion: Even with…
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Will our Grandchildren be Budget Losers?
As the Governor's state budget address approaches, there is no shortage of speculation surrounding various fiscal austerity proposals and which departments and programs will likely be the ultimate budgetary "winners…
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Not Paying Pension Bills Hurts our Grandkids
Politicians last year passed their version of pension reform by deferring existing unfunded liabilities, making them even more unaffordable. The situation was so severe that they felt compelled to include…
CommentaryRead More: Not Paying Pension Bills Hurts our Grandkids
The Phony “Surplus”
The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue released May General Fund tax collection data, and many lawmakers are clamoring to spend this “surplus”. But the idea there is any “surplus” is…
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Did Lawmakers Fix the Pension Mess?
Joe DiStefano of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that State Representative (and PSERS Board member) Dwight Evans claims no further pension reform is needed. Evans is hardly dealing with reality.
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$27 Billion Pension “Reform”: Still Doubling Down on Generational Theft
On June 16, the PA House passed pension "non-reform" by further deferring the scheduled taxpayers' contributions to the state's largest government pension plans - the Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS)…
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Rendell’s $52 Billion Pension “Reform”
Gov. Rendell and the Democrat-controlled House are trying to redefine pension "reform" by further deferring the scheduled taxpayers' contributions to the state's largest government pension plans - the Public School…
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Punishing the Next Generation: The Rendell Pension Legacy
As the Rendell administration moves inexorably toward its finish line in January 2011, it is reasonable to begin considering the issues awaiting the next governor. Of significant note is Rendell's…
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Philly Pension “Reform”: A Vote to Raise Taxes Now and in the Future
The state budget impasse hinges on the inability of Governor Rendell and the House Democrat Majority to garner enough votes for state tax increases. Yet for now it seems enough…
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A Missed Opportunity for Pension Reform – Continuing Generational Theft
Analysis of HB 1828 – the so-called Pennsylvania municipal pension reform bill (which includes a Philadelphia sales tax increase) facing the PA General Assembly – by Commonwealth Foundation senior…
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A Tale of Three Cities: Pennsylvania’s Retiree and Medical Liability Challenges
Pennsylvania maintains over 3,000 public pension plans at the state, city and municipal levels, the most of any state and approximately 25% of all such plans in America. Over 2,200…
Fact SheetRead More: A Tale of Three Cities: Pennsylvania’s Retiree and Medical Liability Challenges
Philadelphia’s “Pension Reform” is Generational Theft
Faced with significant budget deficits and the burden of ever-increasing pension contributions, Philadelphia is attempting to finesse itself out of a financial dilemma. In simple terms, the city cannot afford…
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The State’s Rosy Scenarios
We live in uncertain times. This maxim is often heard in the corridors of the state Capitol where Excel spreadsheets support the marketing of new initiatives based on long-term financial…
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No Extra Money in the Fund
"There is no extra money in the fund" for a pension Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA). That’s the analysis from the State Employees' Retirement System (SERS), not the Commonwealth Foundation…
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Healthcare Reform Principles Every reform action should be tested against two criteria: • Does it take costs out of the system?• Does it price insurance in proportion to expected…
TestimonyRead More: Healthcare Affordability
Mutually Exclusive: Pension COLAS and Lower Taxes
In Government 101, we learn how a bill becomes law and the circuitous route that, at any stage of the political process, may derail a proposal. In fact, only 6.3%…
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The Pension and Healthcare Non-Crisis
Despite the well-documented unfunded liabilities in Pennsylvania’s largest public employee pension plans (PSERS and SERS), the response from Harrisburg to the coming fiscal crisis ranges from denial to paralysis. Following…
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Getting Out of the Pension Dilemma
(Editors Note: This Commentary was originally published on March 8, 2006) Pennsylvania’s public employee pension plans are facing a looming financial crisis. Regardless of how one looks at the current…
CommentaryRead More: Getting Out of the Pension Dilemma