Arizona Senate approves changes to pension plan

May 08, 2013

The Arizona Senate has reversed itself and voted to approve a plan to revamp the retirement system for new elected officials and judges. On Tuesday, the Senate defeated the bill, but during the vote, Senate President Andy Biggs predicted it would pass before the end of the session. On Wednesday, his prediction came true.

With more GOP Senators present, the chamber gave its OK to the plan, which would basically convert the existing retirement plan into a 401(k)-style one. It would apply to those elected or appointed after New Years’ Day 2014.

Officials said the system only has enough money to cover a little more than half of its liabilities. Supporters of the change say it will make the system more sustainable. Critics worry about potential changes to the state’s three other public pension plans if this one becomes law.

The Senate’s 16-13 vote sends the bill back to the House, which has to vote on changes made in the Senate.

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