First Responders Fight Pension Reform

A group of police officers and firefighters from around the state are asking the legislature to leave the pension system alone.

They held a news conference at the state capitol Thursday afternoon.

They say a pension reform bill moving through the process would force new first responders to work longer and receive fewer benefits.

Representative Dwayne Taylor, a former firefighter, says the only real threat to the health of the state pension is GOP lawmakers.

“They’ve taken three percent from the employees but never applied it to the pension. So they are the ones who in fact are creating the problem by underfunding the pension,” said Taylor.

If the bill passes, state workers hired after January first 2014 wouldn’t be eligible for the state pension system and would instead be enrolled in a 401K type of retirement plan.