February 10, 2011

WFSE/AFSCME takes fight to preserve earlier retirement incentives to Senate

Senators on Wednesday heard what the House heard on Monday, that the Federation “vigorously opposes” the proposed rollback of early retirement incentives enacted 15 ago ears as part of the deal creating the PERS 3 system.

“If you undo that agreement, we believe it is only fair that you do away with PERS 3 as well,” Federation Executive Director Greg Devereux told the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

“We’ve never liked the potential downside of PERS 3. It is obvious that if you had to retire in the past three years, the hybrid defined contribution nature of PERS 3 could have seriously, negatively impacted your benefits.”

The Legislature has had the resources to fund pensions, but has diverted it to other uses, he said. Rolling back the early retirement incentives would only save $45,000 in the next biennium anyway, he added.

“Instead of eliminating early retirement incentives for new workers (hired after July 1, 2011), we feel strongly you should identify creative ways to finance contributions in the next biennium or you should eliminate PERS 3,” Devereux said.

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