The Yankee Institute for Public Policy has a plan to reform the Connecticut employee state pension system. Elected officials have repeatedly mentioned pension costs as the main reason behind the state’s systemic budget deficits.
Republicans in the state Senate and House pulled their support for a restructured pension plan negotiated between Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the state employee unions Wednesday, leading Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman to break a 17-17 tie vote in the Senate, after the plan passed along a party line vote in the House, 76-72.
Malloy was quick to blister the “nay” voters.
“Quite frankly, anyone voting against this is voting to lose jobs,” Malloy said.
Wyman’s breaking of the tie vote enables the deal to become law.
As controversy grows around Connecticut state lawmakers padding their pensions with mileage reimbursement figures, one state representative wants to end the pensions all together. State Rep. John Frey, R-Ridgefield, has introduced legislation HB No. 6292 that would “prohibit any elected official from receiving a state pension.”
The measure has been referred to the Appropriations Committee.
Connecticut House Republican Leader Themis Klarides says an audit of the state employee pension funds proves the state needs to reduce benefits.
The audit of the State Employee Retirement System by Cavanaugh MacDonald Consulting LLC shows the funding level is only at 35.5 percent of what it should be to live up to the state’s obligation. The funding level has dropped from 41.5 percent and the new rate is among the worst of any states in the USA, according to Klarides.
Klarides is calling for worker benefits to be curbed and for lawmakers to consider a Republican proposal that has been on the table for years including:
- reform of the overtime payment guidelines used by state workers
- creation of a defined contributiion system for new state employees
“The valuation rate of state employee pensions has hit an all-time low and the unfunded liability grows every day. This is not a question of the state putting more money into the account, we must overhaul the entire system before it goes broke,” Klarides said in a statement.
Are you a former state employee, who moved to Florida, Texas or some other state and are collecting a state pension? A bill being proposed by Rep. Sam Belsito, R-53, would impose a transaction and forwarding fees on state pensions sent out of Connecticut.
HB 5200 would place a 30 percent transaction and forwarding fee “on the state pension benefit income of any individual receiving a state pension who resides in another state.”
The measure’s intent is to “incentivize individuals receiving a state pension” to remain in Connecticut.
The bill has been referred to the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.