Deal on the Pension System

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Tallahassee, FL - One House Democrat says the pension plan goes too far because it collects more money than needed and gives the excess back to taxpayers in the form of property tax cuts.

Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda held a news conference today to call on budget negotiators to nix plans to have state employees contributing to their retirement plans. She was joined by firefighters, state workers and economists. Karen Woodall, the director of the Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy, says the legislature’s pension plan will hurt millions of Floridians.

“We are asking teachers, firefighters, police, state employees, we are asking the medically needy, we are asking children through the tax cuts in education over and over again to share the pain,” said Woodall.

Rehwinkel Vasilinda and the Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy are asking state lawmakers to close corporate tax loopholes to fill the gap. They say if just some of the loopholes were closed, money could be raised to keep state workers from contributing to their pensions.

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  • by truth Location: fl on May 4, 2011 at 05:30 AM
    most workers would kill to work for a company that would pay 97% of their retirement.only in goverment and florida could workers be mad at this plan many people wants this sweet deal.they will be in line for these jobs when they become open wait and see.
  • by Applicants Location: Tallahassee on May 3, 2011 at 05:25 PM
    I find it absolutely hilarious how everybody talks about state jobs don't pay as well as private sector jobs. If that were true, there would not be 500 applicants for openings for state jobs. If people had to apply in person for state jobs in Tallahassee, it would look like Best Buy on Black Friday at every application office. So shut up already and pay your fair share. BTW, check out any parking garage and see just how badly the state pays.
    • reply
      by State worker on May 4, 2011 at 04:22 AM in reply to Applicants
      the pay is lower, than the private sector, we have not had a raise in the last 6 years, but in that time ins. prems have gone up 3 times, we only work for the state for the benefits!!check the numbers!
      • reply
        by NO MERCY on May 4, 2011 at 07:49 AM in reply to State worker
        They dont understand until they work the job in teh system. They dont understand they are being used by the elite to make middle vs middle class face off agasint one another. What Appplicant also doesnt understand is that WE DO PAY OR FAIR SHARE IN TAXES ALSO. If some folks would look at the salaries of all State employees that our governor released and look at the CS and SMS positions pay and then compare them to their private sector wages, we see the private sector makes more. From 2-3 times more in some cases. This is a case of class warefare folks and if you think we make a lot, wait till the conservatives start comming after the private sector workers. Wait till they are deemed to make too much and with competition and high job demand, they start to take away their pay and benefits. I want those to let us State workers to understand that their day is comming also and it will be just as painful or even more painful for them than us. Wait till its not proitable for the corporation to pay raises to those employees. when that day comes , I want them to remember how we were the canary in the mine warning folks of the gas in it
        • reply
          by Mercy on May 4, 2011 at 12:25 PM in reply to NO MERCY
          Spent 6 years in the system buckwheat, I can assure you I know exactly what I speak of.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 4, 2011 at 08:03 AM in reply to Applicants
      Applicants: If your looking @ the parking garage your looking @ the Chief's, the Chief's Chief the assistant and so on , they ARE paid very well, the regular state worker is not. There are 500 applicants for state jobs because of the high unemployment. Are you dense???
      • reply
        by Applicants on May 4, 2011 at 04:46 PM in reply to
        So you walk to work? I am not talking about a few of the cars genious, I am talking about 99% of them.
  • by leon Location: tally on May 3, 2011 at 03:48 PM
    So get ready for the next crisis: Underfunding FRS. The reason Fla went with 100% contribution in 1974 was that too many FRS participants were withdrawing from the plan, causing an unfunded liability (a budget shortfall) when they demanded the refund of their contributed share. Let's talk about fair here: The DEAL was that in exchange for a bit less pay, the state made 100% contrib & got to keep it in the FRS accounts even if the employee left. So you know what this means right? The Republicans have made the State of Florida BREAK a promise. How fair is THAT?
  • by leon Location: tally on May 3, 2011 at 03:38 PM
    Due to ZERO pay raises for the past FIVE years, state positions have suffered the equivalent of a THIRTY PERCENT pay cut. In terms of $30k/year jobs, that could be the economic equivalent of Tallahassee LOSING more than 9,000 jobs over the past 5 years, or a hidden 7% - 8% loss in total city-wide jobs (not also factoring standard economic multipler of 1.3x).
  • by As been said before on May 3, 2011 at 11:29 AM
    If state workers were paid equivalent to the private sector I would bet most if not all would be happy to pay into their retirement.
    • reply
      by Cows Rule on May 3, 2011 at 12:04 PM in reply to As been said before
      I agree, I think people are under the impression that state employees are paid more than most but that is far from the truth. Years and years ago that may have been true but not anymore.
  • by Anonymous on May 3, 2011 at 11:13 AM
    Take away the requirement to pay into Social Security and in return have them pay into the pension. State workers are underpaid when it comes to comparing the same job to one in the private sector but they do get extra benefits in return. They had an option to stay with their normal pension or go to a 401K several years ago. On top of that they haven't gotten a raise in 5 years. What more do you want them to do? Back when I worked as OPS in the early 90's they were on a 3-4 year streak without raises then. I worked in several state offices and must say that everyone busted their tails in each office. It wasn't the stereo typical "state" worker the governor paints them out to be. Sure there are bad apples here and there, what office doesn't have them. Geez, these are peoples lives here. Oh, if you think privatizing the offices will be cheaper...think again. They tried that back in the 90's and some offices went from 20-30 people to requiring 40-50 people to do the same job.
  • by Anonymous on May 3, 2011 at 09:46 AM
    Part of the problem is that state employees get better benefits than the private sector. The State employees, Michelle included, should pay into their own 401k. I and a lot of other people did not know this was not already the case. Wow, must be nice to get an awesome retirement plan that you didn't put one dime of your money into. Once again the citizens are being taken for a ride by some people in the government sector.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 3, 2011 at 10:39 AM in reply to Anonymous
      And private sector gets paid more. So there.
  • by @ Bob on May 3, 2011 at 09:26 AM
    State workers pay taxes too. If you think you pay too much in taxes then spend less. There is not state income tax.
  • by Dot Location: Live oak on May 3, 2011 at 08:32 AM
    People you have to realize these people are the ones that come to our rescue, that teach our children, the ones that should be paid a whole lot more that they are now, y'all have to be crazy to want this to happen. When you are in a situation that you need law enforcement or EMS you want them there right then and they want to be there to help you. Come on let's fight for them like they fight for us.
  • by Bob Location: Jasper on May 3, 2011 at 07:46 AM
    In forty plus of working I never worked anywhere where I did not have to contribute to my retirement. Why should the state taxpayers bear the full burden of the luxurious retirement terms that state workers get? They make more then most others in north Florida yet expect even more. Maybe change it to retirement at age 67 with a minimum of 30 years service and a 50-50 contribution rate. That would still be better then most private industries and a lot fairer to those of us who pay taxes.
    • reply
      by Beaten to death on May 3, 2011 at 09:25 AM in reply to Bob
      Bob, this has been beaten to death. In general state workers are paid less than private sector for equivalent work. Because of that they do not contribute to their employment. Not having a raise in 5 years any contribution is seen as a cut in take home pay.
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