Florida House votes to change public employee pensions

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida House wants to steer away public employees from Florida’s pension plan.

A divided House on Thursday voted 74-41 for a measure that would place newly hired public employees in an investment 401(k) styled-plan if they fail to make a choice within six months of starting their jobs. Currently those employees are placed in a traditional pension plan.

Democrats questioned the need for the legislation and said it could “destabilize” the current pension plan that now totals roughly $150 billion.

The legislation would apply to employees hired starting in 2018.

House Republicans have pushed for changes to the Florida Retirement System for several years. The Senate has refused to go along.

The House measure would also prohibit future elected officials from enrolling in the pension plan.

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