Amid fierce opposition from Democrats, the Florida Senate on Thursday approved a proposal that would block future teachers and other government workers from enrolling in the state’s traditional pension plan.
The Senate voted 24-16 to back the change, which would take effect with employees hired as of July 1, 2022. Those workers would be required to enroll in a 401(k)-style plan — though what are known as “special risk” employees, such as law-enforcement officers, correctional officers and firefighters, would still be able to take part in the traditional pension system.
Lawmakers have debated such a move for years, as private employers have largely moved away from traditional pensions and shifted to 401(k) retirement plans. Currently, government employees can decide whether to enroll in the state pension plan or a 401(k)-style plan.
Author(s): JIM SAUNDERS NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
Publication Date: 8 April 2021
Publication Site: Miami Herald
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