As if taxing teachers, firefighters, police, and other public employees paychecks 3% to help cover the state’s share of our retirement plan was not enough, legislative leaders are ramrodding a bill that could cost them even more.
The House Government Operations Subcommittee is scheduled to consider committee bill, GVOPS 13-01, Thursday morning at 9:00 a.m. that would close the traditional pension plan under the Florida Retirement System. The bill would force all new hires in government agencies participating in the FRS to rely on a 401k-style investment plan. Such a move virtually guarantees an immediate increase in cost and could weaken the retirement system for current employees as well.
This proposal would:
- Place all state employees hired after Jan. 1, 2014 would be placed in a defined-contribution plan (Investment or sometimes referred to as 401(K) plans) instead of the defined-benefit plan that most state workers currently join.
- Close the Senior Management Optional Annuity Program effective Jan. 1, 2014 (only 30 enrollees statewide)
- Expand investment options to include an employee directed option (brokerage account)
- Eliminate the option to apply for disability benefits under the pension plan for new enrollees effective January 1, 2014.
Just last week, Committee chairman Rep. Jason Brodeur (R-Sanford) indicated the committee would wait for an actuarial assessment that would show both the short term and long term costs of making these changes before moving ahead with the proposal.
Now, he apparently plans to force committee members to vote on it without knowing its full cost.
Why is legislative leadership so determined to undermine one of the few state retirement systems that is stable, adequately funded and performing well?
Please call or email the committee members listed below and tell them they were not sent to Tallahassee to be a rubber stamp! Tell them to vote NO on ANY changes to the retirement system until they have all the information. If you do not have a local legislator on the committee, please contact the committee chair.
It is irresponsible to cast a vote on such a drastic proposal without at least knowing how much it will cost taxpayers and our hard working members!
House Government Operations Committee:
Brodeur, Jason CHAIR Sanford
(850) 717-5028 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ahern, Larry St. Pete
(850) 717-5066 email@example.com
Artiles, Frank Miami
(850) 717-5118 firstname.lastname@example.org
Campbell, Daphne Miami Shores
(850) 717-5108 email@example.com
Combee, Neil Auburndale
(850) 717-5039 Neil.Combee@myfloridahouse.gov
Cummings, W. Travis Orange Pk
(850) 717-5018 Travis.Cummings@myfloridahouse.gov
Fresen, Erik Miami
(850) 717-5114 firstname.lastname@example.org
Fullwood, Reggie Jacksonville
(850) 717-5013 email@example.com
O’Toole, Marlene The Villages
(850) 717-5033 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rangel, Ricardo Kissimmee
(850) 717-5043 Ricardo.Rangel@myfloridahouse.gov
Raulerson, Daniel D. Plant City
(850) 717-5058 Dan.Raulerson@myfloridahouse.gov
Slosberg, Irving Delray Beach
(850) 717-5091 email@example.com
Workman, Ritch Melbourne
(850) 717-5052 firstname.lastname@example.org
Points for phone message:
As a legislator, you have a responsibility to cast an informed vote.
I am urging you to vote NO on ANY changes to the retirement system until you have all the information.
Please don’t be a rubber stamp for a bill that will likely cost Florida taxpayers more and deliver less!
Email message #1
Please do not make changes to the Florida Retirement System until all of the information is in!
Closing the traditional defined benefit pension plan will cost taxpayers more and deliver less.
Email message #2
The Government Operations Committee should not even be considering a retirement bill without knowing how much more it will cost taxpayers. According to the committee chairman an actuarial study is being performed and any action should wait until it is finished. Please be responsible! Don’t cast your vote until you have all of the information!
Email message #3
Please do not vote for PCB 13-01. Forcing all new public workers into a “defined contribution” plan, as proposed in the House bill, would leave more unfortunate Floridians subject to the volatile economy and high investment fees that could demolish their retirement savings. And taxpayers would have to pay more for existing employees for many years, because new hires would not be paying into the existing pension plan to replenish it.
There is simply no good reason to weaken a healthy system, raise taxpayer costs and force more Floridians to rely on social services.
Email message #4
As a Legislator, you have a responsibility to make an informed decision. Please do not rubberstamp changes to the Florida Retirement System before you even know what it will cost taxpayers or working families. According to the committee chairman, an actuarial study is being performed and any action should wait until it is finished.