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Senate approves state worker pension plan contribution

by Dara Kam | April 7th, 2011

State workers would have to contribute between 2 and 6 percent of their annual salaries to their pension plans under an angst-ridden measure approved by the Florida Senate by a 26-13 vote this afternoon.

“I wish we didn’t have to go there. but I think it’s the responsible thing to do when you look at the broad set of issues,” Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales, apologized before the vote.

The chamber also approved an amendment requiring lawmakers and statewide elected officials to kick in slightly more. They’d have to pay in 7 percent of their annual earnings above $50,000 towards their retirement plans.

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28 Responses to “Senate approves state worker pension plan contribution”

  1. What Says:

    Legislators don’t make $50,000

  2. dgatz Says:

    Legislators don’t make $50k, but many other elected officials do (e.g., mayors and judges)–this affects ALL elected officials.

  3. FL Short Memory Says:

    Remember all of the Yes votes come 2012, all you public employees!

  4. papabear Says:

    Good. And good that the plan also has elected officials pitching in more as well. After all, spending is what got us into this mess.

  5. RobWPB Says:

    I support the idea that state employees will have to pay into ‘THEIR’ own ‘retirement’ plans. My taxes pay these ‘state workers’ and as a private employee, I pay into my own retirement. Why shouldnt they. My problem with this, as with a lot of laws, is that it doesnt apply equally to elected officials. Why do they get a 50,000 dollar ‘lee way’ before they have to pay.

  6. BillyBob Says:

    @papabear: it wasn’t spending that got us into this mess. It is the Republican controlled government that gives tax breaks to the rich, deregulated the mortgage / banking industry to encourage fraud and encouraged a real estate bubble that finally burst. Now public service employees, (not including elected officials) are getting hit with another tax on retirement after paying for retirement through taxes.

  7. Educator Says:

    The Democratic Party thanks you!

    Obama 2012!!!

  8. NOBAMA Says:

    Wish I only had to contribute 2% towards my retirement fund!

    Judges, Sheriff, Tax Collector, etc. have to contribute 7% of their over $140,000 annual salary. WOW, that is still theft of tax revenues…

  9. Thomas Says:

    The votes will be made public, and shame on any public worker who ignores the voting. They have to run again, and only ridding ourselves of these corporate profiteers will correct the problems

  10. papabear Says:

    Meanwhile, most Floridians will look on this vote and thank those who decided to have an affordable government for a change. I know I’m one of those guys.

  11. The slient ones Says:

    After all these years and this is how they treat state workers. Shame on them for even doing this. We will remember the voters come election time 2012. I guess we take home even less in pay which puts alot of people on welfare. Try saving the middle class families.

  12. Kelly Says:

    NOBAMA and papabear are the ones making sense here. Not to mention legislators actually cut their own pay too, so they at least are sharing some of the burden of getting this budget done right.

  13. tj Says:

    I love it when people say that as a state employee I dont contribute to my retirement! Im pretty sure I pay the same Fu#$ing taxes as everybody else does in Florida! You dont put into my retirement from your paycheck morons, there is NO state payroll tax, you contribute from all the other taxes, house, car, food, gas, cigarretes, the same sh*& I also buy and pay taxes on! You (private) put into your retirement from your paycheck not taxes, so now I will be putting in twice, do you? Republican and teabaggers all will be held responsible in 2012, so when you call 911 now dont expect a quick answer or response, or if an inmate gets out somehow, or your kids stay stupid, you all seem to forget that this will affect all of you not just the state employee!

  14. Garty Says:

    “I wish we didn’t have to go there.”

    The thing is, you don’t. The pension fund is sound. One of the best funded in the nation. This is all about freeing up revenue to cover revenue losses from corporate tax reductions.

  15. James Says:

    Now Florida will become a state ran by leftist Democrats after this vote. Thank you Republicans. Apologizing will not help you. I am in the state retirement system. There was nothing wrong with it. It should of been left alone. I am a Republican and I did not vote for Rick Scott. This is a man who paid his way to the Governors office. You cannot compare Fl to Wisconsin. 600,000 + workers will throw Scott out of office after his term.

  16. deb Says:

    1. Accountant IV, 12 years of service $36,744.
    2. Tax Specialist II, 35 years of service $40,255.
    3. Correctional Officer, 19 years of service $38,827.
    4. Vocational Rehab, 20 years of service $27,943.
    5. Senior Rehabilitation, 30 years of service $34,087.

    Here are your Florida State Employees Wages/Years of service from “Florida Has a Right To Know”. These “poverty wages” haven’t been increased in five years, and now face a pay-cut to contribute to their pensions?

  17. deb Says:

    These are more Florida State employees and their wages, years of service.

    6. Government Analyst, 13 years of service $37,561.
    7. Revenue Manager, 22 years of service $31,691.
    8. Protective Investigat¬or, 22 years of service $33,783.
    9. Tax Auditor IV, 23 years of service $44,845.
    10. Accountant I, 5 years of service, $24,580.

    These are the wages Florida Legislators believe warrant cuts

  18. deb Says:

    Florida State Employees wages rank “dead last” in a state by state, nationwide comparison.

    If they must contribute to their pensions “like the private sector”, we must raise their wages to that of the private sector.

    If they must contribute to their pensions “like other states”, we must first raise their wages to that of other states.

    Fair is fair. Florida lawmakers are exploiting state workers

  19. deb Says:

    To RobWPB:
    State workers agreed to much lower salaries in lieu of funded pensions.
    Their pay is approximately 50% less than their private sector counterpart.
    Again, if we want them to contribute like the private sector, raise their wages 50% first, then demand they contribute. The problem is, people like you want it both ways.

  20. deb Says:

    This is nothing more than part of the Republican strategy…pit worker again worker while protecting the wealthiest.
    The Republicans are counting on the ignorance of the American public….

  21. whatever Says:

    I for one am very disappointed with the elected officials in Tally and Wash. Both parties and the teabaggers have put their political agenda ahead of the PEOPLE. Shame on them! I say we recall all of them and start over!!!!
    Additionally, and on a personal note. I believe that the perception of public servants is way out of line. They are average Joe’s with the same bills and monthly expences as private sector employees. Five years ago nobody cared about their pensions or saleries. Now that times are tough they are an easy target. for all of you haters…GO POUND SAND. Oh thats right there is none..

  22. Fed Up Says:

    As a public employee I am pleading with all public employees Vote in 2012. In my office the amount of people who did not vote is a disgrace.

  23. Mark Says:

    Let’s see, 660,000 people out of a total of approx. 16 million total pop. are being used to pay 1/3 of a 3 trillion dollar shortfall. As mentioned before, these people are already paying the same taxes as everyone else, so how is this not a payroll tax on a targeted group of the citizens in Florida? Something very, very wrong about this. Wonder if anyone in Tallahassee ever considered that the people who are going to pay this “special tax” are going to now spend less. How does that help our economy?

  24. Snakewoman Says:

    I work for the State of Texas. We have ALWAYS had to contribute to our retirement fund. It is currently 6% for us, and 6 1/2% from State government. This may change. Our legislature is considering reducing the State’s contribution. Unfortunately, we are not allowed by law to contribute more than the State does.

  25. deb Says:

    Again, Florida State Employees compensation ranks “Dead Last” when compared nationwide.

  26. Mark Says:


    Don’t forget county and city workers as well, many of whom are not union, school teachers, police or firefighters!

  27. Ed Zackery Says:

    You leeches can suck up or die on the vine like the rest of us! What makes you think you are so freaking special?

  28. helpless Says:

    I am a state employee, I am more than glad to pay a small percentage into my retirement if that is what is needed to close the gap in the budget or at least help it along. But please don’t think I have been sitting on a gravy train because I work for the government. I came to Florida from the North in the early 80′s. At that time, I was making over 19K in the private sector. I took a job with the state when I got here because my desire was to help the community. I made 12K a year and that was at the time that 3% cost of living raises were annual. I received it twice. As a Florida State worker, it has taken me 20 years to reach a salary
    that barely surpasses 39K. The increase to salary did not happen through bonuses, raises or otherwise. Ask any regular level state worker and they will tell you that the only way to increase your salary at any time is to learn, work hard, and apply for every job that you may be qualified for in order to perhaps get a small increase to keep up with the cost of living. Trust me when I say it wasn’t my vote or my party that put the state in this situation. It was the mentality that being voted into office was not a job to work for the people but a need to fill a vacancy on a pedastal in State Government.

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