February 20, 2014
Governor Mary Fallin today applauded the Oklahoma Senate for approving Senate Bill 2120, a pension reform bill. The Senate voted 34-11 to pass the measure. It now goes to the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
SB 2120 moves new state employees from a defined benefit plan to the 401k-style, defined contribution plan being widely used in the private sector. The law does not cover employees designated “hazardous duty” – including firefighters and police officers—or teachers. It does not change the pension system for current employees or retirees.
“Moving new hires to a 401K-style retirement helps us to recruit qualified employees from today’s more mobile workforce,” said Fallin. “The 401k model is a more flexible system that allows employees to take the money they have accrued with them if they change careers.
“Second, and just as important, reforming our pension systems is necessary to ensure we can pay out the benefits we’ve promised to current state employees and retirees. Oklahoma pensions currently have $11 billion in unfunded liabilities. That kind of debt could seriously threaten the benefits of current retirees and employees if left unchecked. Thankfully, the Senate has taken action today to advance a plan to help stabilize and shore up state retirement funds.”
SB 2120 was authored by Sen. Rick Brinkley