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Scott says pension contribution phase-in a no-go

by Dara Kam | February 14th, 2011

Gov. Rick Scott rejected some GOP lawmakers proposal to phase-in a revamp of the state’s pension system.

Scott’s proposed having state workers kick in 5 percent of their salaries to their pension plans, splitting the 10 percent the state now pays for. That would amount to a 5 percent salary cut for the state’s public school employees, who make up nearly half of the Florida Retirement System.

Senate Education Appropriations Committee Chairman David Simmons said he wants to see the pension reform eased in over more than one year so that beginning teachers won’t get a pay cut while the state’s still struggling to come out of a recession.

Scott says nope.

“It’s only fair. The private sector, they fund their retirement benefits so the public sector ought to be doing the same thing,” Scott said. Asked if he was willing to negotiate on the phase-in, Scott’s response was terse: “No.”

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42 Responses to “Scott says pension contribution phase-in a no-go”

  1. JustMeee Says:

    You asked for it, Flori-duh, and now you got it! Scott!!! Scott!!! Scott!!!


  2. Educator Says:

    The Nazi Leader has spoken! Heil Scott!

    When’s his next Fascist KKK Tea Party Rally and in what CHURCH!?

  3. SheliaJoy Says:

    If Florida does not get rid of this one note Tea Party clown before FL has four wasted years of bs from a thief.

    I say every day to myself-”I have a Medicare Tea Party thief as a Govenor”.

    Lazy Democrats really cost FL a chance at a decent Govenor at time when FL needs GOOD GOVERNANCE-not Tea Party bs.

    FL is already next to last in all good lists-ie schools. I hope FL does not beat out Missippi & Alabama while we suffer through this clown.

  4. Kimmie Says:

    I would love to know how much Scott and the rest of the “lawmakers” contribute to their pension plan, if any. I would also like to know how much they pay for their and their families medical insurance?

  5. Louie Says:

    Gov Scott…
    My wife – a PBC elementary school teacher with 26 years of experience, hasn’t recieved a pay raise in about four years now.
    Even at a bare minimum of a 2% raise, that’s 8% of zero.
    Add to that a 5% addition and she’s 13% in the minus column.
    We see that you’re trying to undermine the entire School System in an effort to have your friends run Charter Schools.
    Just realize that the kids will be victims in all this.
    My wife, mother in law and my mom were teachers.
    My children will most definitely not be.
    But you won’t regulate Pharmaceuticals that are killing people ?

  6. freeloader Says:

    the state should pay for my pension if i went into the income producing private sector and had to pay my share of the pension i would feel like i was ripped from my mama.

  7. RealAngst Says:

    Another genius move by the most corrupt and well heeled thief to ever hold that office. Thanks all of you anal cavaties who voted this clown into office.

  8. Really Says:

    Governor Scott is giving it to State employees with no KY! Oh, but then comes to chat with them about what a great job they’re doing….

  9. Tampa Patriot Says:

    The nerve! Taxpayers must continue fund all 100% of my retirement! How greedy of those who suggest that I contribute 5%. Let the taxpayers eat cake!

  10. Really Says:

    And to the freeloader…state employees don’t earn equal pay as those in the private sector. So start paying them like private sector employees before you start treating them like those in the private sector.

  11. Really Says:

    Retirement, health insurance, leave time, etc. have always been the justification to pay state employess less so please let’s not act as though they’re stealing something. Studies have shown that even when salaries are ajusted to include these benefits, state workers still earn about %15 less than the private sector.

  12. JupiterVoter Says:

    Florida is one of the few states that does not require employees to pay into the pension system and so I welcome the initiative to require employees to contribute. Ultimately, all public employees across the country will probably have to switch over to 401(k)s anyway. Sorry, that’s just the reality of the future.

    However, I think we also must realize that public employees have their own family budgets, too. Phasing-in the contribution requirement over 6 months to 1 year as suggested by the GOP Senate Education Appropriation chairman would seem to give employees enough time to adjust.

  13. freeloader Says:

    Hello REALLY
    you are correct all public sector employees have no opportunity to join the privact sector–most likely since they are used to producing nothing they are not marketable.
    THAT study you site was done in what year?

  14. Native Says:

    @ All you greedy sons of bitches! Everyone wants something for free! Well thanks to all you dummycrats out there. The free ride is over! They are the ones who allowed all the hatians, mexicans, and all the others who have lived off the Americans without paying a dime in taxes, to rape the system! Now you want to cry when someone make the harsh decisions it’s going to take to resolve this F____ uped situation! Get over it! Lot’s of Americans live off a lot less than all you cry babies! @ Educator! Your An IDIOT!! Take your sec8 housing loud mouth back to where you hatched from!!

  15. BM Says:

    My wife has been in the education system if Florida for 25 years. I support Governor Scott. It is only right that a people contribute to their own retirement. I mean seriously, would you want to receive a bill once a month for your contribution to a GM plant in Detroit when you do not work for them? Same thing here. Same thing here.

  16. TED Says:

    the whole 401k scheme is a rip off. if your saving your own money with a pittence from the employer to retire on… it’s not a pension. it’s your savings. working people deserve a PENSION for a life of service. just because the right wingers have ripped off private sector employees for their pensions doesn’t make it right to do to our police, teacher, emt’s, etc.

    rick scott is a fraud and a thief working for the aristocracy to exchange democracy for plutocracy.

  17. PhoneHome Says:

    No one likes to take a pay cut. Some look at your pay cut and wish they had the opportunity to work… even if it were for less. Would you rather discuss the pension plan in bankruptcy court?
    Children moan about having to do with less. Adults handle it with dignity and look at their opportunity to help save the retirement system for all. For me, I have no retirement plan, no medical plan and my hours have been cut over 50%. Want to trade? I would get more benefits if I were an illegal.

  18. TED Says:

    to those who demonize the immigrant, the best cure for illegals is to jail the citizens who hire them.

    they exploit suffering people for unfair market advantage. stop decrying a migrant for wanting to eat. put the blame on the business owners greed and lack of moral compass

  19. Sam Says:

    I think it makes sense to phase in contributions, yes the pension system is unsustainable and it makes no sense that state workers contribute nothing to their retirement, but it is not fair to dump the problem all at once on public workers. Contributions should be phased in so that people can adjust their budgets, etc.

    Most public workers actually earn on par with private workers, so the idea that extra generous pensions and benefits are necessary is out-dated.

    As the Cato Institute’s Chris Edwards notes in the current issue of the Cato Journal, “The public sector pay advantage is most pronounced in benefits. Bureau of Economic Analysis data show that average compensation in the private sector was $59,909 in 2008, including $50,028 in wages and $9,881 in benefits. Average compensation in the public sector was $67,812, including $52,051 in wages and $15,761 in benefits.” Those figures likely underestimate the true gap on the benefits side because the typical government employee gets a guaranteed defined benefit pension under very generous terms, while the private sector norm is a 401(K) defined contribution plan that is subject to the ups and downs of the economy.

  20. papabear Says:

    I’m sure all of us private-sector folks would have liked to have our unemployment ‘phased in’ so we could ‘prepare for it’. Sorry, folks. This reform can’t wait.

  21. mary romano Says:

    Well Sam I don’t know what CATO was looking at but all the people I work for in the public sector don’t make nearly as much as they say we do. I know my pay check is 1/2 of what it was in the private sector even with benifits. My staff are the first ones out helping you people after a hurricane. My staff was ther for the first Anthrax spill (the publix freaked out)we did our job very carefully. We are expected to be the first on the front while the publix cries that they have no water to drink, because they were not prepared. So the goverment workers step in and give free water out to anyone that needs it. Get over your self and you need to stop crying about what you don’t have. I bust my ass everyday when I come to work and it isn’t in an office.

  22. Oreally Says:

    All you staties who are so angry about this ‘infringement’ on your compensation, please note our state has a record budget hole, our federal government is bankrupting our country, and our state is living hand to mouth with federal dollars being printed at a tremendous pace.
    Our government model is a failure, and you will have to accept that. We can no longer afford to provide every service that Tom Dick and Harry wants in life no matter what the cost.
    New Federal estimates of our budget deficit are.. can you guess?… much higher than predicted. AGAIN.
    All government agencies from Counties on up are burdened with a history of bad economic policy. It is time to stop it. That means a dramatic decrease in government spending. It’s done. Find a new line of work if you don’t like your compensation with the state. Join the rest of us in the unemployment line.
    And remember this economic collapse is the result of backroom government policies, and poor economic analysis. This is not the citizens fault.

  23. Dedicated Public Servant Says:

    So what happened to Scott claiming the FRS was going bankrupt? Now he wants it to be only “fair”. What is fair? No matter where the money is going, it will be 5% less pay and it is NOT going to increase the amount in the FRS.
    This cut pay would be equal to increasing my family’s property tax by 130% next year. You would go nuts if the Governor wanted to increase your property tax by 130%.
    He’s putting an extra tax on middle class public servants and it’s not right!

  24. John Says:

    What’s all the fuss about? Why shouldn’t government employees have to pay part of their pensions? I have 38 employees and they contribute to their retirement, if they want to have one and most small businesses are that way! What makes government employees special? I agree with Governor Scott and so does most of the people in the private sector. The government taxes our businesses too death, to fund all of those benefits government employees get, leaving none for my employees! It’s about time someone, in governement, stands up and puts you guys on the same field as our employees! You guys are still getting half of your retirement paid! The only exception should be law enforcement! They lay their lives on the line, everyday, so, they deserve to have better benefits! Paper pushing bureaucrats, who stifle business with their ridiculous rules, need to pay for all of their retirement, just like my employees! They already make more than like careers in the private sector! So, quit whining! If you don’t like it, get oit here with those of us who decided to make our own way and not depend on the taxpayer to roll over and fork out all of their money. You need to get out there and see what your crazy rules, fees and
    taxes are like to deal with! Create a job and give something to society, instead of taking money that’s not yours! Bunch of cry-babies! No wonder you work for the government!

  25. John Says:

    Native – You are a wise man!

  26. John Says:

    Really – I don’t know what study you are referring too, but, you need to do your own and learn the truth! Government employee salaries are mostly on par or higher than the private sector! The benefits are so much more than the private sector offers! So, don’t spread that propaganda amongst people that know better and you wont get embarrassed!

  27. Dedicated Public Servant Says:

    You’re telling public employees to “give something to society.” Really? How about all of our soldiers that died so that you are free to live and run a small business. How about the police officers in Tampa who gave their lives two weeks ago? How about the firemen who would save your life if your house were on fire tonight? How about the teacher that spends her weekends grading papers. Or the social worker that makes sure your neighbor can no longer beat his kids? The people WORKING in their government jobs are not the problem. As a society we have a moral obligation to take care of our kids and the elderly. Quit bashing the people who do this for a living and quit whinning about paying taxes in our great country.

  28. Voice of Reason Says:

    So how have those 401k accounts been working out for you rabbits in the fast lane? Go ahead and endorse this highway robbery and you can count on this: Longer lines, more incompetence, less service and fewer middle class jobs for your kids. At least the lawyers will be glad about all of the money headed their way. So much for all Scott’s idea about saving some money…

  29. YM Says:

    As a state employee who has not had a raise in the years I have worked for the state of Fl. I think that proposing this 5% thing is ridiculous. A grocery store clerk makes more money than I do but the only reason I do stick around is for the benefits. Living pay check to pay check is not fun as we all know I wouldn’t like someone taking 5% off my paycheck when I can barely pay my personal bills as it is.

  30. chris Says:

    “Ultimately, all public employees across the country will probably have to switch over to 401(k)s anyway. Sorry, that’s just the reality of the future.”

    Why is it exactly we’re supposed to just lay down and accept a 401(k) over a real pension? Because this is just the way of the world now so we may as well get used to it? Says who? Is this so we can bring our standard of living more in line with the likes of India and China? Sounds like if I can’t have it then no one should. They are using the same divide and conquer tactics they used to break private sector unions to bring down public employees. Next thing you know they’ll be trying to abolish “job killing” regulations like the minimum wage. Wake up sheep!!!

  31. chris Says:

    PS I am as they come but this guy is a nut job! He represents the corporate side of the “tea party” movement not the grass roots who I believe hearts are in the right place. This man is schill for big business he is not looking out for you and me. People with handles like “patriot” stupidly cheer him on while he guts education, growth and environmental regulations while at the same time giving tax breaks to corporations. In a few years when we’re all choking on urban sprawl and traffic jams and enjoying sky high crime rates and views of oil rigs off our coast we’ll rue the day Rick Scott was ever voted into office. Florida is the new Alabama.

  32. Paul Says:

    The monies put in the retirement system are’ in fact’ part of the public sectors full salary and benefits compensation. So Mr. Scott wants to reduce the public sectors salary by 5% across the board. Scott’s mystical math at work.

  33. Ken Albin Says:

    Let’s get real here! Since when has Scott ever been concerned with fairness? This is der Fuhrer’s new eugenics plan to reduce the numbers of those filthy little people who work for a living and are not wealthy. Das King of Medicare Fraud has spoken and so shall it be.

  34. Bee Dub Says:

    Losers. Most of you letter-writers are losers and crybabies. I’m NOT against public employees. I’m against public employees who think they’re being mistreated by the mean, evil Gov. Scott. There’s a large number of us who do NOT have jobs, do NOT have health insurance, and do NOT have pensions or retirement plans of any kind. There’s NO unemployment compensation for people who are not fortunate enough to have been recently laid off from a job. I’m not complaining about my circumstance though, like you LOSERS are. I actually wake up happy everyday and simply set out to make ends meet, WITHOUT sapping off my fellow man. I depend on myself and I’ll end up making it WITHOUT asking taxpayers to pay for anything. Oh, by the way, even without health insurance, and in spite of Obama constantly lying about me and millions of others, I’ve always paid every penny of any emergency room medical bills I’ve ever incurred. It’s not easy but somehow I always manage to piece it together. Governer Scott is a breath of fresh air after years of having a lukewarm governer who claimed everything, but stood for nothing. Any of you public employees can choose to remain where you are and take your chances and accept the reality that taxpayers pay your salaries, or you can venture out into the private sector and fend for yourselves. Hearing you complain about your poor selves while blaming your problems on Scott is petty and unimpressive. Losers. You’ll always complain and blame no matter what your circumstance. The rest of us are sick of hearing it.

  35. Simple Solution Says:

    This isn’t difficult. All you state employees who don’t want to contribute 5% to your own pensions should immediately resign. Then just grab yourelves one of those great paying private sector jobs. Problem solved! I’m sure it won’t take more than a few days to replace you all.

  36. Eric Says:

    You’ll accept a defined contribution pension because defined benefit pensions are financially impossible to fund on a sustained basis. The math just doesn’t work, only those in state and local govenment don’t seem to understand that. They’ll either wake up or go bankrupt.

  37. Realist Says:

    You’re dead wrong here. Having public employees contribute 5% of their salaries to FRS adds NO NEW MONEY to the system. It’s just another way to shift the tax burder away from the wealthy.

  38. Democrat Says:

    So, the private sector in Florida sucks because they’ve voted in republicans for the past 15 years and they’ve given up or lost all their bargaining power because they drank the “right-to-work-state” kool-aid and now they’re going to hold a grudge against teachers and cops because they have unions and contracts that look out for their best interest. That’s just childish. You want better private sector pay and a pension? Join a union and stop watching Fox news. One will help your wallet and the other will help you brain.

  39. Bee Dub Says:

    Great advice from “Democrat”. Don’t watch Fox news. Too much information will threaten your simpleton mind. You need to limit your intake of information and listen ONLY to a small and narrow scope of news, presented ONLY by those approved by “Democrat”. Listening to Fox will interfere with progress because you’ll have a harder time figuring out what to do or think when confronted with the TRUTH. Pesky thing, the truth. It gets in the way of “Democrat’s” agenda, so he comes up with the obvious solution: block it all out. I feel so much smarter now that I have turned off Fox and otherwise drastically cut back my intake of news and world events. LESS information = total bliss, plus now I can avoid being brainwashed, since I’m devoid of any ability to resist it. Blood-sucking, brainwashing, FOX NEWS . . .

  40. Pensions Says:

    The author of this article says the state’s employees will be taking a 5% cut in pay but that’s not quite true. Because salary deferrals are pre-tax monies, pay checks will not be 5% less. The actual amount will depend on your tax bracket but say your bi-monthly pay check is $1,250 ($30,000 annually). Five percent of that is $62.50 so your taxable wages for that period would be $1,187.50. I have always worked in the private sector so I’m not sure if public employees are taxed differently and I’m not insinuating the decrease won’t hurt, I’m just saying it won’t be quite as bad as you think it will.

  41. Blue Line Says:

    Police officers and Firefighters take the dangerous job because of the benefits offered to them. It’s not realistic for someone in those careers to work for 40 years. Wear and tear on the body, hyper-vigilance, sudden shift changes, high stress situations, high divorce rates, and the highest rate of suicide of any profession. I sense an overwhelmed, aging police and firefighters if this goes into law. Anyone can get a 401 k. Why risk your life for it?

  42. joey Says:

    I cannot attend the next rally, but I would like for someone to bring this point to their attention. Overtime and leave should be factored into our retirements because: each city and county knows that it is cheaper for them to just pay some overtime payments each pay period, because it’s cheaper for them to pay the ove…rtime than it is to hire another employee plus benefits to fill an open position, saving them money. This Makes it harder on our already over-worked and stressed out employees. Our leave balances continue to build over our career, because of these practices the county has instituted. Alot of counties do this, if not all. I know Escambia County SO only applies OT to its employees leave banks and they rarely get to ever use the time for a day off. Why? because there is a list of mandatory overtime that each employee must work each week. Thats why OT should be factored. It is the counties fault that we have overtime and unused leave at our retirement time.

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