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State News

Economists say state pension fund doing better than expected

By Regan McCarthy

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-988024.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – The Florida Retirement System is doing better than forecasters expected thanks mostly to changes made during the last legislative session. But, despite the state's chief economist calling the program one of the healthiest in the country, Regan McCarthy reports the system is running with no surplus for the third year in a row.

The state's chief economist Amy Baker says Florida's retirement system has had two bad years of market performance and is running with no surplus again this year, but she says the system is better off than it would have been without changes made by a law passed out of the legislature last session.

"Senate bill 2100 and some other little changes that they made during last session really stabilized the situation, relative to what we would have seen at this point. So, those are good, things would have been worse had the legislature not acted on those, but in terms of the market performance that it what it is."

That Senate bill ups the age for retirement and requires state employees to contribute three-percent of their pay check to the retirement plan. Baker says the fund is in about the same place it was last year, but without the changes she says things would have been worse.