I understand that a notice of claim challenging the merits of my pension reform bill, SB 1609, was filed today by two judges. Early this session, it became clear that the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, which includes the Elected Officials’ Retirement Plan, was headed for collapse. One of the greatest achievements this session was the passage of sweeping reforms to these pension systems through SB 1609. Numerous changes were enacted to strengthen the funded status of the retirement plans while maintaining generous employee benefits. Ultimately, SB 1609 will be instrumental in turning these public retirement systems around and protecting benefits for future employees.
From retired employees to new employees just starting their careers, no one is served by an unsustainable system on the verge of insolvency. I stand by SB 1609 as an important milestone in the recovery of our public retirement systems. After working with employee stakeholders on SB 1609, I understand the frustration from groups affected by these changes. But with few options and a duty to protect the retirement benefits for all employees, we will vigorously defend the important reforms contained in SB 1609.