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Lawmakers no closer in knowing cost of Weatherford's pension reform

A report on Friday was supposed to help lawmakers understand how much it would cost to do pension reform pushed by Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford.

The study only looked at what it would cost if new employees were prohibited from enrolling in the $136 billion pension system and were required instead to enroll in 401(k) style plans.

On Monday, Weatherford concluded he needed to compare the costs of keeping the plan in its current state before understanding the cost. But late Tuesday, representatives with Milliman, the Virginia actuarial firm that did the study, alerted state officials that the report was missing even more critical data.

They told state officials that when calculating the assets of the plan, they omitted the three percent contribution rates from employees that the Florida Supreme Court recently upheld.

"This caused errors in several columns within the report," said Ben Wolf, a spokesman with the Department of Management Services, which ordered the study.

An updated study with corrections and a comparison to the current plan's associated costs will be released on March 1.

"So we’re not better off than when the report was issued," said Rep. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, who chairs the House Committee that is sponsoring Weatherford's pension reform.

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