We need you to contact your individual State Senator and urge him to vote "NO" on SB 84 Retirement. If you live in Santa Rosa County or Escambia County, this is Sen. Doug Broxson at email@example.com or (850) 487-5001. This anti-union bill passed all of its Senate committees and is waiting to be scheduled for a floor vote as soon as next week. It closes the Florida Retirement System (FRS) pension plan to all new state and local government workers, which consists primarily of the education workforce, and forces them into a defined contribution retirement plan (i.e., a 401K plan). Currently, they are allowed to choose between a pension or a 401K plan. However, the bill excludes new members of the "special class" (police, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, probations officers, and corrections workers) who may continue to choose a pension plan. Huh?? Here are some talking points:
Currently, the FRS has a reputation of being one of the best managed retirement systems in the country, with nearly 75% of the benefits paid for by employee contributions to their plan.
The FRS pension plan, like most public pension plans, is a key element in attracting and hiring the best qualified applicants for Florida's public sector jobs.
The availability of an adequate and sound pension plan after retirement is a deal that workers accept in exchange for lower income and stressful conditions while they are working.
Pensions allow retirees to live financially independent lives which support Florida businesses.
The FRS is the largest employer in most of Florida's 67 counties; therefore, the financial independence of senior citizens in the FRS is key to the financial health of their communities and our state.
This bill will destabilize the FRS and:
Make the pension fund more difficult to manage, thereby jeopardizing retirement security of current pensioners;
Shift the cost of maintaining the FRS to Florida taxpayers;
Make it more difficult to recruit and retain teachers.
Finally, what is the justification for carving out the "special class" workers who can still choose a pension? If it is bad for police and firefighters, why is it good for teachers? This is more than unfair, but par-for-the-course with this anti-teacher, anti-woman Republican Legislature.
Please contact Sen. Broxson as soon as possible before this bill goes to the floor and urge him to VOTE NO!
Thank you, Jean Siebenaler Santa Rosa Democrats Legislative Liaison