Panel OKs revamp of Fla. public employee pensions

Published: Friday, February 8, 2013 at 12:56 PM.

"What's wrong? Why are we trying to fix it?" asked Gary Ramey, president of the Florida Professional Firefighters union. "We're spending an awful lot of time here and resources for a problem that really doesn't exist."

The bill's supporters, though, say they are worried that kind of success cannot continue, citing huge unfunded liabilities racked by municipalities, other states and private companies.

Brodeur characterized the proposal as a minimal change as opposed to more drastic measures he said would have to be taken if the Florida plan suffers the same fate.

"Closing a defined benefit plan, believe me, is not a minimal change in any way, shape or form," said Ray Edmondson, CEO of the nonpartisan Florida Public Pension Trustee Association. "It's the most expensive thing you can do."

Ramey said state and local governments would have to pay more into the present plan for each current employee as its shrinks due to the lack of new members.

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