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Public employees may have pensions moved

February 26th, 2013 - 7:35am

OLYMPIA, Wash (AP) - A new proposal in the Washington state Senate would shift many government workers into a 401(k)-style retirement system.

The plan developed by Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom seeks to close pension systems. Workers under the age of 45 and new employees would be shifted into a defined-contribution plan funded mostly by the employees.

Tom says the idea is designed to move government workers away from defined-benefit plans that are becoming less common in the private sector. Opponents say the idea would make it more difficult to retain quality teachers and other employees while making it more difficult for workers to have a secure retirement.

Tom is a Democrat working with a Republican-dominated coalition. Other Democrats express concerns about his bill.

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