Senate bill would end Florida’s state pension option for new employees

Link: https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida-politics/2021/02/05/senate-bill-would-end-floridas-state-pension-option-for-new-employees/

Excerpt:

After years of discussions about the tricky issue of overhauling Florida’s retirement system for government employees, a Senate committee this week approved a proposal that would shut future workers out of a traditional pension plan.

The proposal, sponsored by Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Chairman Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, would require new employees as of July 1, 2022, to enroll in a 401(k)-style “investment” plan. Employees currently are allowed to choose whether to take part in the pension plan or the investment plan.

Rodrigues, whose Republican-controlled committee approved the bill (SB 84) in a party-line vote, said lawmakers have to make “difficult decisions” to maintain the long-term solvency of the pension fund. He pointed, in part, to a $36 billion unfunded actuarial liability, which is essentially a measurement of whether the fund is projected to have enough money to meet its future obligations.

Author(s): Jim Saunders

Publication Date: 5 February 2021

Publication Site: Tampa Bay Times

Public Pension Roundup: Reform And Regression

Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ebauer/2021/02/19/public-pension-roundup-reform-and–regression/

Excerpt:

Now, generally speaking, when an employer switches from a traditional pension to a defined contribution plan, this means a significant drop in plan benefits for employees. In Florida, that’s not the case — at least nominally not so: the employer contribution rate is the same for either type of plan, and varies only by employment class. (Of course, this doesn’t take into account any additional contributions needed to remedy funded status.) In addition, regular readers will know that I insist whenever the opportunity arises that state and local employees should participate in Social Security just as much as the rest of us do; as it happens, that is already the case for public employees in Florida. In addition, unlike the 8 year vesting of the traditional pension plan, the employer contributions to the defined contribution plan vest after only a year of service.

Author(s): Elizabeth Bauer

Publication Date: 19 February 2021

Publication Site: Forbes