Pension Reform Passes House Committee [SLIDE SHOW]

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By: Mike Springer
February 7, 2013

The unions representing law enforcement, firefighters and nurses-the people known for savings lives and protecting others- are now asking the state to save their pensions and protect their retirement.

They claim changing the system will force more people onto social welfare programs.

"Closing the pension is going to cost the taxpayers billions," said Rich Templin of Florida AFL-CIO

On Thursday, a house sub-committee passed a bill requiring all state workers hired after Januaray 1, 2014 to enter into a 401(k) type retirement plan.

It's a move away from penison payments by the state to one unions say will hurt future retirees.

"They would be put into 401(k) type plans, which have less stability, less security, they can generate higher rates of return, but you can also find yourself out of retirement with nothing," said Templin.

But supporters of the bill say it is an important finanical reform for the state to undertake. One they say it will provide the state with more financial stability in the future.

"If you're going to be a new employee, you're going to also have rich retirment options. That'll be self directed and a little more stable for the state of Florida," said Rep. Jason Brodeur of Stanford, FL.

The bill still must pass the legislature before it can take effect.

Tallahassee, FL - A proposed bill that would change the pension plan for state workers met heated opposition today.

Members of the Florida House heard testimony Thursday from various union representatives, many of whom are against the proposed bill.

The bill would require all state workers hired after January 1, 2014 to pay into a 401(k) type plan.

Opponents of the bill say it would make it harder for the state to retain its workers and hurt their retirement funds.

However, supporters argue the changes are necessary and will be a cost saving measure for the state. We will have much more on the debate later tonight on eyewitness news.

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