Jun 21, 2010 11:56 AM by Melissa Canone
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A proposal to revamp the statewide
retirement programs for new hires, particularly rewriting the
pension plans for new teachers, received final passage with a 93-3
House vote Sunday.
The measure (House Bill 1337) by Rep. Joel Robideaux,
I-Lafayette, would restructure the programs for new employees who
start in January, changing the employment years used to figure some
retirement benefits, the eligibility standards and the amount some
workers contribute to their pension plans.
Among the biggest changes would be the retirement package for
new teachers, and the proposal drew opposition from teacher unions,
who argued it would make it more difficult to recruit teachers.
Supporters of the measure said it would help the state save
money, citing the current gap of more than $16 billion between the
money the systems have and the money they'll need to cover the cost
of benefits. Robideaux said new workers will get a good pension
plan from the state, just one less generous than many current
Robideaux's bill would create two uniform retirement plans for
new hires: those for police officers and others deemed to face
hazardous duties and another for all others in the statewide
retirement systems, including teachers.
The bill goes to the governor's desk.