Governor Scott Signs Legislation to Begin Securing State and Local Government Pensions

By: Governor's Press Office
By: Governor's Press Office

Orlando, FL - Keeping his promise to make sure Florida is no longer the only state in America that does not require government employees to contribute to their pensions, Governor Rick Scott today signed Senate Bill 2100, pension reform legislation that will save taxpayers and participating employers $2 billion next year. The reform ensures that retirees can continue to depend on the Florida Retirement System for decades to come.

Beginning July 1, 2011, state workers and other participants in the Florida Retirement System will contribute three percent of their salaries toward their pensions. The required contribution applies to all active members of the Florida Retirement System or one of the optional retirement programs sponsored by the state universities and colleges. The bill signed today achieves the following savings by employer groups:

School Boards $ 819.4 million

Counties $ 597.7 million

State $ 356.8 million

Others $ 108.8 million

Universities $ 66.2 million

Colleges $ 56.4 million

Total $2,005.3 million (over $2 billion)

Governor Scott was joined by representatives of the Florida League of Cities and Floridians for Sustainable Pensions, a diverse group of citizens, civic and business organizations concerned with Florida’s unsustainable government sector pension plans.

In addition to aligning pension contributions with those in other states, Governor Scott also signed Senate Bill 1128 that protects the retirement benefits for local governments by preventing surplus cash from being used for other purposes. Local governments must also disclose the present value of defined-benefit retirement plans and make the information available on the Florida Department of Management Services’ website.

“Without reform, Florida’s government pensions and retirement system put a heavy burden on our state’s taxpayers. As a result, dedicated public servants were forced to face the uncertainty of future retirement benefits,” said Governor Scott. “The steps we are taking this year move us closer to modernizing the system and ensuring it will be around decades down the road for future retirees. As we work to strengthen our retirement system even more, I look forward to working with the Legislature and all Floridians to make sure the retirement system is fair to both retirees and taxpayers.”

In March, Governor Scott launched the website that shed light on state pensions with annual benefits of $100,000 or more.

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  • by poor house Location: Florida on Jun 29, 2011 at 07:18 AM
    please let me explain the situation to the dunderheads in laymen terms that I hope they can understand, but probably won't! LESS income every month equals a cut in pay,no matter how you disguise it.State workers have not been on a FREE RIDE.I have worked in both the private sector and state government. When you go to work for the state,you do so at lower pay than you would receive in the private sector for the very same type of work. you do so in hopes that the benefits will make up the difference. State workers have had to work thru this so-called recession (DEPRESSION is more like it)without even a cost of living raise in 6 years. Who, working in the private sector can say they have had NO raise whatsoever during these past 6 YEARS.And yet there are still those who say "the state workers have been on a free ride".We will all be in the soup kitchens soon if Scott is allowed to continue with his maniacal changes which only benefit his special interest groups in the short and long run of it all.
  • by poor house Location: florida on Jun 28, 2011 at 06:52 AM
    Rick Scott's attitude "My Way or The Highway","I may not always be right but I'm never WRONG". Heard these before? Well get used to it, because until Rick Scott is put out of office it will continue and everyone in Florida will feel the bite before it's over with. Wake up people,Scott is out to bleed florida dry while lining his own pockets. It's the republican way. The rich get richer and the poor get buried because most of us can't get any poorer!
  • by Anonymous on Jun 24, 2011 at 05:25 PM
    You state people are amazing. What's the problem other than you will no longer have a completely free ride. You will be paying into YOUR retirement, that's money saved by YOU for YOU! It will part of the money you receive when YOU retire. If you leave before you are eligible for retirement, you will get the funds you invested back, it's YOUR money! It's not a pay cut, it's an investment! You say you cannot afford to invest in your future, actually you can't afford not to invest in your are supposed to look after yourself as any responsible person would be more than willing to do. So what if a percentage of the money previously deposited by the State into the retirement system is going to be used somewhere else. Tax revenues are down and the money is needed somewhere else. As far as this decision being against a contract with the union, public employees should not be allowed to be a part of a union unless the union is going to provide employee benefits with the funds received from union dues. The state should only be obligated to pay the employees's salary, not union mandated benefits, i.e. health, retirement, etc.
  • by michael on Jun 24, 2011 at 02:36 PM
    All that money saved will soon belong to lawyers, state contract states 100% paid pensions by the state this will be default, Yes I know the state is hurtng so start new contract with new hires, you cant change a contract part way through with out both sides agreeing, try that with the private sector and see how far you get
  • by Jake on Jun 24, 2011 at 09:14 AM
    2 billion for Solantic!! Go Rick!!
  • by Anonymous on Jun 24, 2011 at 07:31 AM
    His legal team isn't doing their job. As noted there is legal precident to point to in this area. He got smoked when he signed the executive order for employee drug testing. Shouldn't his advisors told him that this was tried and overrulled a decade ago?
  • by another govt worker on Jun 24, 2011 at 06:42 AM
    I don't mind having to pay into my retirement, I'm happy to do so, what I'm not happy about is the fact that the state of florida is regarded as the lowest paying state in the nation when it comes to their government employees add that to the fact that we haven't seen an increase or pay raise in 6 years. I really don't think now was a good time to hit state employees with another pay cut, which this essentially is when your already making less that 24,000. a year.
  • by wakulla girl Location: crawfordville on Jun 24, 2011 at 06:31 AM
    Understand that lawyers were just waiting for this to be signed before springing in to action. Don't be surprized to find a suit filed since staff do not have a choice to opt out of FRS. Seems there are precident cases already that won. You think our leaders would check these out since they have a legal staff.
  • by gotta love it on Jun 24, 2011 at 05:53 AM
    I still am baffled at the misconceptions that are still trying to be created. The FRS was never in true danger and is rebounding nicely. The 3% is NOT going into the FRS, but to balance the budget, so it is not to ensure the FRS is stable but to take money from the FRS and support other items. And every other state that enacted an employee contribution, specifically Virginia (since he has mentioned it in the past) required the contribution to new hires only, as there was an issue with what is perceived as a contract with current employees. Now you can see why there is a lawsuit, they might have a case...
  • by State Worker Location: N. Florida on Jun 24, 2011 at 05:45 AM
    During 2010-2011 for special risk the state contributed 22.35% to FRS per employee. 2011-2012 the state is only contributing 14.10% and the employee 3% for a total of 17.10%. What I'd like to know Rick in whose pocket did the other 5.25% go? Your not showing that in your cost saving graph.
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