Tuesday, May 20, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY - Governor Mary Fallin today thanked members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives for passing House Bill 2630, a pension reform bill. The bill moves future state employees from a defined benefit plan to the 401k style, defined contribution plans being widely used in the private sector. The law does not cover employees designated “hazardous duty” – including firefighters and law enforcement officers—or teachers. It does not change the pension system for current employees or retirees.
HB 2630 passed in the House by a vote of 58-33. It now heads to the Oklahoma State Senate.
“Moving to a 401K-style pension model for future hires will make Oklahoma better able to recruit and hire qualified employees for state government by giving them more portable and flexible retirement benefits.
“This bill also helps protect current employees and retirees by making our pension system, which currently has over $11 billion in unfunded liabilities, more fiscally sound. HB 2630 will help to ensure that we can pay our retirees the benefits they have earned."
HB 2630 is authored by Rep. Randy McDaniel.
Governor Fallin and legislative leaders recently announced a budget deal for Fiscal Year 2015 that includes $36.8 million to fund pay raises for 12,378 state employees, including corrections workers, state Highway Patrol troopers, child welfare workers, and the state’s most underpaid employees as identified by the state’s recent comprehensive employee compensation study.
Fallin said the pension reform bill coupled with raises helps keep the state on sound fiscal footing while also offering competitive pay and benefits.