Bill would phase out pensions for public employees in state

The Seattle TimesJanuary 13, 2014 

After Boeing’s successful campaign to pressure Machinists into surrendering their pensions, some state lawmakers are renewing calls to phase out public-employee pensions, too.

Taking a page from Boeing’s playbook, state Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, plans to introduce legislation Monday that would offer a $10,000 incentive to state workers who agree to move from the state pension system into a 401(k)-style retirement package.

“If it’s good enough for Boeing, it should be good enough for the employees of Washington state,” Ericksen said. His plan would end pensions for new state hires in addition to offering the incentive to current workers.

Legislation to curtail public pensions is unlikely to pass in the 60-day legislative session that begins Monday. Top Democrats say the state pension system is in good shape and that they’ll oppose any move to end pensions.

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