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House Speaker Crisafulli Not Giving Up On 'Pension Modernization'

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.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.