House poised to ok changes to state pension system

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The Florida House is poised to pass a bill that would stop elected officials and top employees in state government from enrolling in the state’s traditional pension plan.

The House spent nearly two hours on Thursday discussing the legislation, which would automatically place newly hired public employees in an investment 401(k) plan if the employee failed to make a choice within eight months of starting their job.

The measure would not take effect until July 2015.

The House could take a final vote on the bill (HB 7181) this week. A similar proposal is moving in the Florida Senate, but it’s unclear if the measure will pass.

House Speaker Will Weatherford has made changes to Florida’s pension system a top priority but has had trouble winning support from senators.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.