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Brewer signs bill on public workers’ pensions

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill to change Arizona’s four public employee retirement systems.

Provisions in the bill signed Friday include scaling back some benefits, mainly for new hires, and requiring new contributions from employers rehiring retirees.

Supporters said the changes bolster the systems’ financial footings, while critics said some changes go too far.

Changes that would apply to one or more of the systems include tying cost of living adjustments to measurements of plans’ financial health and installing higher age and service floors for retirement.

Unions opposed the bill, and business groups supported it.

Retirement programs for public employees have been under a spotlight by lawmakers and others nationally due to programs’ rising costs and poor investment performances during the Great Recession.

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  1. Maybe there is poor performance in the State Pension Fund because the Legislature raided the fund 5 years ago, and put the money in the General Fund so that they could pass a tax cut. The Republic knows of this but “forgot” to include it in its reporting. Legislators later promised to put the money back. This year, with the state in bad shape, they forgot their promise. So, state employees, who get NO cost of living raises, and who pay hundreds of dollars a month in health insurance, lose again. This is NOT California, or Wisconsin. Here, the employees get to see their pension fund raided by the Legislators. By the way, the Legislative Retirement Fund DOES include cost of living raises.

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