Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford may think that providing defined-benefit pensions only to law enforcement and firefighters is pension reform, but it’s not. It will only create resentment.
Currently, members of the Florida Retirement System, employees of state, county, school districts, state colleges and universities, and participating municipalities can choose either a defined-benefit pension plan or an investment pension plan.
But, Weatherford wants to keep new employees out of the Florida Retirement System and give them a 401(k) plan, which is currently a failed retirement system. Do the research. Less than 1 percent of 401(k) plans have sufficient amounts for retirement. The average 401(k) balance for those ready to retire was less than $150,000 at the end of 2012. And just because the stock market is flying high now doesn’t guarantee this bull market will continue forever. There will be financial shenanigans in the future causing steep drops in investment value. The whole purpose of Weatherford’s pension reform for new employees is to give more big tax cuts to businesses that haven’t created new jobs.
Irving Gerson, Miami