Panel Clears Bill to End Guaranteed Pension Plan

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By: Elizabeth Nickerson

March 8, 2013

Tallahassee, FL-- "Teachers who still come into the profession in Florida are either doing it because they love to teach," said Representative Alan Williams from Tallahassee. "But they also realize that on the back end they have a great retirement package."

Teachers, law enforcement officers and state workers should get ready for some big changes. A house panel on Friday voted 12 to 9 along party lines to do away with guaranteed pensions for workers hired as of January 20-14.

The study presented today showed that tax payers would save roughly ten billion dollars about 30 years down the road.

"They wanted the report to be non-controversial," said Doug Martin from the AFSCME Council 79. "This is controversial when you mess with the retirement of 600,000 people and 200,000 retirees, it is controversial."

Retired state worker Tom Baxter is one of the many who are worried about what this bill could bring.

"If they destabilize the retirement system they will come looking for my pension and start looking to cut me back," said Tom Baxter, a Retired State Worker.

For new state workers, the bill will also end disability benefits.

Those now in the Florida Retirement System can select a traditional pension or a 401 (K)-style plan.

The bill will go before another House Committee next week.

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