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Scott commends lawmakers for 'modernizing' outdated pension system

Gov. Rick Scott's first session has been true on-the-job training and Florida's new governor has clearly learned how to find the silver lining. In a statement issued Saturday, he commended lawmakers for "a great first step" in requiring state workers to contribute three percent of their salaries into their retirement system.

The agreement, reached by lawmakers late Friday, falls short of the 5 percent Scott called for and it also excludes the other major reforms he sought -- such as eliminating DROP, ending the defined benefits plan and using the money to offset what he considers an unhealthy unfunded liability in the Florida Retirement System. The Legislature, by contrast, believes the FRS is one of the strongest in the country, embraced DROP, and warned that eliminating the defined benefit plan will be too expensive to abandon. But it did move toward the shared retirement contribution that the governor sought, as well as his idea of ending the cost-of-living adjustments for new hires.

Here's the governor's statement:

“I pledged during the campaign that we would reform Florida's public pension system and follow the other 49 states in requiring state workers to fund a part of their own retirement just like most private sector workers do.  The legislature's proposal is a great first step toward modernizing Florida’s outdated pension system, and I applaud Speaker Cannon and Senate President Haridopolos for their leadership in starting us down the path toward a modern, robust and secure retirement system for Florida’s workers.”

 When the overhaul is signed into law, Florida will no longer be the only state in America that doesn’t require any employees to contribute to their pensions. 

“It is my goal to continue to modernize Florida’s retirement system until it is no longer reliant on our state’s taxpayers.  But I’m pleased that we’re moving in the right direction.”

Comments

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Scott got rid of pensions

Without a cost of living adjustment and with pensions based on the best 8 years instead of best 5, why would any new employees choose the defined benefit plan. Scott got what he wanted by a stealth end to the traditional pension.

Ray

Mr. Scott is a jerk and he will be a one term Governor. Unfortunately, he and his Legislative Friends will do a lot of damage in those 4 years.

D. Hayes

I have been a Republican all my life but today, I am officially a Democrat. They displayed respect for the working class and for those that serve and protect Florida, while the Republicans stripped it all away. When a 59 year old officer shows up at the door to defend against a 19 year old, doing a home invasion and things go bad, perhaps then Florida will understand the magnitude of what the republicans have really done. Also, now that teachers have officially been kicked down then stomped on, there will be none intrested in teaching our future. Remember you pay for what you get, and you get what you give. Floridians better start home schooling their kids and Police and Firefighters, forget about it. Everyone better get a fire extinguisher and a really big gun!

Anne O

I will not mind paying my 3% as long as I get annual cost of living adjustments and an immediate raise for the last 5 years that I did not get one. Then you can say that we are matched with other employees. So far, the state has saved money on me for all my career and now wants to **** me.

Jessica

If you want to bring our public employees in line with the other 49 states, sure make us contribute, but also double our pay! We are paid HALF of the national average, and have HALF of the number of employees per person in Florida. You can't make people contribute what they don't have to contribute. 5 years no raise, no merit raises(biggest lie when you get hired on) and now a 3% pay cut, at least until next session when they'll probably bump that up. A lot of state worker's can't afford to give any more. This will backfire with the enrollment of more people in state assistance (food stamps, etc).

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