AFP-FL Applauds House Leadership for Landmark Pension Reform

March 22, 2013

Passage of HB 7011 marks great step forward for responsible use of taxpayer dollars

Tallahassee, Florida—Today, Americans for Prosperity’s Florida chapter (AFP-FL) applauds the passage of HB 7011, which reforms the current state pension plan to place all new state employees into 401(k) style retirement plans. This legislation will stop placing state employees into the unsustainable, traditional pension plan and place them instead into investment plans that they control and can take with them if they leave state employment.

“The passage of HB 7011 is a great thing for Florida’s taxpayers and retirees,” said AFP-FL’s State Director Slade O’Brien. “On behalf of AFP’s 150,000 Florida activists, I must thank Speaker Weatherford for his bold leadership on this important issue, and for fighting to protect the financial future of Florida’s families. This is landmark legislation that deals with pension reform in a fair and equitable manner and is a key component of our Five for Florida Plan.”

Unions have fought for years to maintain the unsustainable current pension plans at the state and local level, despite the future financial risks they pose to taxpayers. However, voters disagree with the Union stance. Seventy percent of Florida voters support placing all new state employees into 401(k)-style plans rather than the current pension plan. Support for this policy is bi-partisan, with 59 percent of democrat voters supporting and 66 percent of independent voters supporting 401(k) plans for state employees.

Mr. O’Brien continued, “The current pension plan is unsustainable and it’s important that our elected officials are honest with the taxpayers and state employees about the enormous risk associated with traditional pension plans. Placing all new employees in an investment plan, similar to what the private sector offers, will provide future retirees with a solid retirement plan that they control and can take with them. More importantly HB 7011 will protect the taxpayers of Florida from future tax increases resulting from growing unfunded liabilities created by the traditional pension plan. I am optimistic that the Florida Senate will follow the House’s lead on this important issue by supporting HB 7011.”

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