State retirement system could see major change

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In a potentially major change to the Florida Retirement System, a Senate Republican on Thursday proposed a bill that would require new state employees to enroll in a 401(k)-style plan.

The proposal (SB 84), filed by Sen. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, would apply to employees joining the retirement system as of July 1, 2022.

Currently, employees can choose whether to enroll in a traditional pension plan or what is known as an “investment” plan, which is similar to a 401(k).

Republican leaders have long discussed moving away from the traditional pension plan, as many private employers have done. But the idea has run into opposition from groups such as unions that represent state workers.

Rodrigues’ bill is filed for consideration during the 2021 legislative session, which will start March 2.