Fla. Senate Rejects Changes to Pension System

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida Senate has dealt a crippling setback to efforts to revamp Florida's retirement system, a top goal of House Speaker Will Weatherford.

Senators on Tuesday defeated a proposal similar to a House-passed plan that would do away with guaranteed pensions for future state and county employees and teachers. The vote capped a long debate and the Senate then moved on to other bills as lawmakers head toward the 60-day session's final gavel on Friday.

The House plan would replace pensions with individual investment accounts similar to 401(k) plans, but it does grandfather current employees in the existing pension plan.

Those now in the Florida Retirement System can select a traditional pension or a 401(k)-style plan.

Republican Sen. Jack Latvala spoke against the proposal. He said the pension changes would hurt the state's chances to attract quality workers.

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