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Pension Changes Advancing In Legislature

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(AP)

(AP)

Legislative Session Coverage

TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – Bills in the Florida House and Senate that will shift state pensions into investment accounts and require state and local workers to pay into them began moving forward Thursday.

The House bill will require employees to contribute 5 percent of their salaries to their pension and will end traditional benefits for new employees, according to the News Service of Florida.

The Senate bill would deal with local government pension requirements.

The House measure would directly impact nearly 1 million active members and retirees of the Florida Retirement System.

The House bill would raise the retirement age to 65 for new employees, or 33 years of service. Currently, the pension plans goes to anyone who is 62, or has served for 30 years.

Firefighters, police, and other special risk employees would see their retirement age go up under the bill from 55 to 60 years of age, or 30 years of service, according to the News Service of Florida.

Critics of the bill said the measure will still result in a pay cut for members of the Florida Retirement System, many of whom haven’t seen raises in years.

The bill will end the state’s early retirement program, known as DROP, which has allowed workers to double and triple-dip from state coffers.

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