Move to (401)k-style retirement clears Okla. Senate

ASSOCIATED PRESS Modified: February 19, 2014 at 9:18 pm •  Published: February 19, 2014
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photo - State Rep. Richard Morrissette talks with public employees during a rally at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday February 17, 2014. Public employees were protesting pension reform plans that would include moving newly hired state workers from the current defined-benefit pension into a 401(k)-style retirement system. Photo By Steve Gooch, The Oklahoman
State Rep. Richard Morrissette talks with public employees during a rally at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday February 17, 2014. Public employees were protesting pension reform plans that would include moving newly hired state workers from the current defined-benefit pension into a 401(k)-style retirement system. Photo By Steve Gooch, The Oklahoman

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Newly hired state workers would be shifted from a traditional pension to a 401(k)-style retirement plan under a bill that has been given final approval in the Oklahoma Senate.

The Senate voted 34-11 Wednesday to approve the bill and send it to the House.

Under the measure, state employees hired after Nov. 1, 2015, would be shifted from the current defined-benefit pension to the 401(k)-style defined-contribution plan. The changes do not apply to teachers or public safety employees like police, firefighters or prison guards.

Supporters say the bill will help reduce the estimated $11.6 billion in unfunded liability of the state's public pension systems.

But opponents say eliminating the pension will get rid of one of the major benefits of a state government job.



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