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FL Lawmakers Trade State Worker Raises For Benefit Changes

DXR via wikimedia commons

Florida lawmakers are approving a measure giving state workers a raise in exchange for revamping benefit plans.  The proposal passed alongside the state budget on the final day of Florida’s legislative session.

Most state workers will get a $1,000 or $1,400 bump—with the bigger raise going to those making less than $40,000 annually.  To get the raise, senators agreed to make the default retirement option for most employees an investment rather than a pension plan.  But Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater) defends the move, pointing out many workers leave their profession before vesting.

“You know if they’re in the investment plan,” Latvala says, “at least they’d have the growth of their contribution and the match for each of those first seven or eight years before they left.”

The measure doesn’t lock anyone out of the pension plan, but employees have to opt in sometime during their first eight months of employment.