Move to 401(k)-style retirement clears Okla Senate

Plan to shift newly hire state workers to 401(k)-style retirement system clears Okla. Senate

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Newly hired state workers would be shifted from a traditional pension to a 401(k)-style retirement plan under a bill that has been given final approval in the Oklahoma Senate.

The Senate voted 34-11 Wednesday to approve the bill and send it to the House.

Under the measure, state employees hired after Nov. 1, 2015, would be shifted from the current defined-benefit pension to the 401(k)-style defined-contribution plan. The changes do not apply to teachers or public safety employees like police, firefighters or prison guards.

Supporters say the bill will help reduce the estimated $11.6 billion in unfunded liability of the state's public pension systems.

But opponents say eliminating the pension will get rid of one of the major benefits of a state government job.