TAKE ACTION: Protect the Florida Retirement System!

HB 5007 is on the floor of the Florida House of Representatives tomorrow, April 12 at 1:00. This bill  makes a substantive change to the Florida Retirement System in the typically non-controversial retirement rate-setting bill, which is required to pass each year. By attaching this controversial change to a must-pass budget bill, the House is hoping to sneak these changes past the Senate without a vote during the secretive budget process.

The House wants to force new employees into the riskier 401k type plan as opposed to the traditional pension (FRS). Not only is this bad for the retirement security of future state employees and for growing our local economies, but it could also cause the FRS to be underfunded immediately, putting the entire system and taxpayers at risk.

UFF opposes this bill unless an amendment by Representative Loranne Ausley (D – Tallahassee) is passed. The Ausley amendment makes HB 5007 a clean bill by taking out all new language except the rate-setting provision.

CALL your House Representatives below. Tell them to adopt the Ausley amendment and have a clean rate bill. If the amendment is not adopted, ask them to vote NO on HB 5007. Encourage your colleagues, friends and family to call (but do not use UF resources – UF computers, UF email address, UF phones– to do so)! A simple message is effective (“adopt the Ausley amendment to HB 5007 and have a clean rate bill. If the amendment is not adopted, ask them to vote NO on HB 5007.”), but more talking points are below.

  • Elizabeth W. Porter (R), district 10. District Office: (386) 719-4600
  • Clovis Watson, Jr. (D), district 20. District Office: (352) 264-4001
  • Charles Wesley “Chuck” Clemons, Sr. (R), district 21. District Office: (352) 313-6542

Talking Points

  • Significant policy changes should be established in a fair committee process allowing full dialogue and debate. This bill (HB 5007) does not meet the requirements of transparency established by the Speaker and should never be combined with a must-pass bill like setting retirement rates. Almost all substantive House bills are referred to an appropriate subcommittee, the parent committee, and then to the appropriations process. HB 5007 bypassed most of these steps.
  • This is the third attempt by the Legislature in as many years to amend the retirement system and the default plan for future employees.
  • A defined investment plan, in almost every case, provides less retirement funding than a defined benefit plan. Keep the defined investment plan as a choice, but not the default. Currently, all members of the FRS have a one-time opportunity to switch between the two choices.