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Pensions for public workers may be changed

People who work for government in the State of Florida will get a pension upon retirement. But for new employees, it might be different than what current state workers get.

Many Florida legislators want a pension system that is more like ones found in the private sector and this week the legislature will consider making changes to the state's pension system. The legislature is considering a plan that would move future workers from a traditional pension plan into a 401(k) plan. Those who believe in this plan say it could save the State of Florida $28 billion a year. Those who oppose the plan believe state workers could face too much risk and may not fully under the financial realities of 401(k) plans. Currently there are about 1.2 million state workers involved in pensions and many are teachers, according to an article by Tonya Alvarez in the April 27 Sun Sentinel.

"I think this new idea is really bad. People who work for the state know they won't get as much money as those in the private sector, but they were counting on a nice pension," said Bradley Earnhardt.

"We need this legislation. For too long, state workers have not lived in the real world. Nobody should be guaranteed a big pension on retirement. They should face the same risks as everyone else," said Barbara Lands.