The fears we voiced on Monday have come true on Wednesday. In a document we secured today, which was introduced this morning at 10:00 am, titled “State Budget Conference Chairs bump issues Senate offer Conforming and Implementing Language” (click on the title to be directed to the link) has some last minute introductions that were claimed to be tabled.
Line 1 of page 7 of the document states the interest rate paid on DROP will be reduced from the current 6.5% to a new rate of 3% for all participants who enter the DROP on or after July 1, of 2010. We have further confirmed that this is already in the budget, so it appears to be a done deal. At 3% the Deferred Retirement Option Program loses its attractiveness as a viable retirement option. We will address this in detail in a later post.
The following lines of the document spells out that the door will be open for EMPLOYEE contributions beginning in 2011! This would indicate that your contributions are already in process, and it is simply a matter of how much you are to contribute.
We can thank Senator J.D. Alexander of Lake Wales, and Representative David Rivera of Miami, who led their respective houses in negotiating these changes. As a taxpayer and a voter, it is very disconcerting to believe that the legislators that WE elect to represent us and our best interests, would sneak this in at the final hours of the legislative session. I hope you will all remember them come election day. In the mean time, we should all inundate them with calls and letters expressing our disappointment in allowing this to happen.