To the editor: Pennsylvania's Constitution mandates a balanced budget where expenditures must be balanced by an equal amount of revenue.

If the commonwealth is to continue to spend more for pensions, from where will the increased contributions come? Will they come in the form of cuts to public services and education? Or will they come as tax hikes to Pennsylvanians, many who do not have the luxury of a taxpayer-funded retirement?

In this year's budget, Pennsylvania taxpayers dumped $1.1 billion into the Pension System for Public Sector Employees. According to Act 120, taxpayers will have to dump $1.6 billion into the system in 2014 and $2.15 billion in 2015. Fast forward to taxpayer obligations of $3.78 billion in 2020, $4.39 billion in 2025, and $5 billion in 2030. Is this really Act 120 working to protect taxpayers?

State Rep. Fred Keller (R-85) is the only area legislator who does not participate in the public employee's pension system. He funds his retirement from his personal income. His experience in the private sector gives him perspective to understand both the taxpayers' burden to fund public employee pensions and the reality of retirement savings for those who fund their own future.

Rep. Keller is committed to reform the current system to benefit both the taxpayer and public employee by enrolling future hires in a 401(k) style retirement system, the same type of retirement that benefits the average taxpayer.

Pension reform is a crucial issue that demands our elected officials secure our future now before all Pennsylvanians face a public pension liability that destroys our economy, basic services and family finances.

Ask your state representative and senator if they support such a common sense solution.

Carolyn Conner

President, SUN Area Council Republican Women