House Speaker Crisafulli Not Giving Up On 'Pension Modernization'

Jan 4, 2016

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli speaking to reporters last month in Tallahassee.
Credit Florida Channel

Over the years, the Republican-led Florida Legislature has tried to overhaul the state’s retirement system. And, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli says he’s not giving up on what he calls “pension modernization” in the coming 2016 session.

There have been multiple failed pension reform attempts. One idea would have eliminated the traditional pension plan for certain employees. Another automatically defaulted new employees into a 401K style investment plan. Speaker Crisafulli says he wouldn’t mind reviving that idea.

“The default issue is something we can start with,” he said, speaking to reporters last month. “I think for us, we’ve gone back and forth between defined benefit and defined contribution. Obviously, the House has a position. We’ve had a position on this, but for us, it’s about finding where we can work with the Senate to find common ground...You know, I think in the past we’ve taken big bites of the apple.”

Last session, Senate President Andy Gardiner says there wasn’t an appetite for it in his chamber. Meanwhile, as in years past, Crisafulli can expect pushback from several of the state’s large employee unions, who argue lawmakers are trying to fix a system that’s not broken.

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