Be Prepared !

… it would be implausible to believe significant changes aren’t in store for FRS people and their benefits in the 2011 session.

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The Florida Senate “Interim Work Plan 2011 Session” has been published on the Florida Senate Website, and there doesn’t seem to be any entry or schedule for the “Summer Study” that was promised (please see FRSOptions post “All FRS Legislation put on hold”).  During the 2010 Legislative Session, Senator Mike Bennett announced that all changes to FRS would be put on hold pending a summer study on how the legislators should best proceed in making potential changes.  The pending study provided a respite for Florida Retirement System participants, as none of the thirty-plus bills that had been introduced in the 2010 session came to fruition.

In the absence of the study it is unclear what course the legislators will take.  Hopefully it will not be a repeat of the maelstrom of bills introduce this past session.  It appears the press has been enlisted to a large degree, as there is seldom a day goes by that an article doesn’t appear condemning the Florida state pension plan and the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) as being overly generous, and an unfair liability to the taxpayers of the state of Florida.  (We attempt to post a sampling on a regular basis on our sister site on Facebook.com/FRSOptions).

In light of the previously proposed bills, the vetoed changes, and the changes suggested by the “Florida Tax Watch”, which is a lobbying group that boasts of several prominent Legislators including the following:

Senator JD Alexander, Chairman of the Senate Policy and Steering Committee on Ways and Means and Designee of the Senate President to the committee.  Bill McCollum, Attorney General for the State of Florida.  Representative Franklin Sands, Minority Leader of the Florida House of Representatives.  Alex Sink, Chief Financial Officer of the State of Florida.  Will Weatherford, Florida House of Representatives, Designee of the House Speaker.

…it would be implausible to believe significant changes aren’t in store for FRS people and their benefits in the 2011 session.  While we don’t advocate changes, if changes must be made, let’s all hope those changes don’t deprive current FRS participants of the benefits they have been promised, and are entitled too.  Be prepared , changes are most assuredly in the future.

  • B Guerr

    Mark,

    Alex Sink is endorsed by the Fl PBA and she is pro police and teacher. She might add a little balance to the Fl Tax Watch group that includes anti-police Senator Alexander.

    Sink is running for Fl Governor.

  • http://www.floridaretirementsystem.info Mark Davy

    Both Sink and Alexander have endorsed the cuts outlined by “The Florida Tax
    Watch”, as prudent changes for the Florida budget.
     Mark A. Davy

    SouthBay Investment Group, llc
    665 S. Orange Avenue, Suite 4
    Sarasota, Florida  34236

    941-951-1977
    941-952-1937 (fax)

    ________________________________

  • B Guerr

    Well, as long as the cuts are for new hires or those not yet vested, I don't have a problem with that.

    I guess we'll wait and see what their intent is. I don't think the Fl PBA would endorse Sink if they knew she would hurt current FRS members.

    I saw an article that quoted Senator Bennett as saying that he belives the FRS can handle covering the current employees in FRS. However, any benefits for new hires would come to a screeching halt.

    The only thing, in my opinion, that I might see happening that would effect everyone is the legislature imposing a contribution/percentage from everyone to support the FRS. If that's all that happens to current members I guess I could live with that.

  • Scooterroid

    State legislators and elected officials in the FRS should accrue retirement benefits at the 1.6% rate. They should not be receiving 3% high risk benefits. Lead by example or shut-up and sit down, politicians.

  • Albarenga25

    I am a Miami Dade County emplyee for las 18 years and feel realy sorry for my decition I did when I voted Mr Scott, the new Governor of Florida. In appreciation to my vote, he wand to take my pension an d condemn me to misery. I am no traying to offend him, I just say how sad I feel about the concern of nuestro governor in regars to work forcepeople. Please, do not change the pension benefits for employees how have work for more than 15 years.