Pension reform effectively dead for session

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Expressing frustration with the unwillingness of the Senate to move its version of the measure, Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, asked a House committee to temporarily postpone a follow-up to last year’s overhaul of the pension plan for state employees, reports the News Service of Florida. The move effectively kills the legislation (HB 525) for the session. “I have learned just this morning that our friends in the Senate, having in my opinion completely misunderstood this bill, have chosen to punt,” Workman told the State Affairs Committee. The bill would have lowered the retirement age for employees in the special-risk category — largely law-enforcement officers — to 55 years of age. It would have offset the cost of that move by increasing the vesting period for state employees in the pension plan from eight years to 11 years and changing the default plan for employees from the pension plan to the 401(k)-style defined contribution plan.

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.