There is a lot of confusion and discussion regarding transferring the current state workers to a defined contribution retirement program. Almost every company in the private sector has done this, and they wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the good of the company.
My mother worked for a county in another state for 20 years and never made more than $10,000 a year. She retired in 1982 and is now 97 years old. She has full health insurance, including dental and vision, and receives a pension of $1,250 per month due to cost of living adjustments. She receives a benefit greater than she ever made working.
Government needs to be responsible with everyone’s money. Making promises to keep current employees on such a generous plan is not responsible. Move all recent hires directly into a 401(k)-style plan. Give current workers the pension benefit for the years they have accumulated in the program and start them in a defined plan for the remainder of their employment. If current employees can’t handle it, they’ll still find it more generous than the private sector. It really isn’t the government’s job to guarantee everyone a full ride. Everyone needs to take personal responsibility in planning their future and retirement.