State Senate OKs public employees' pension change

April 23, 2010 1:17:00 PM



JACKSON -- Mississippi senators have approved the final version of a bill requiring public employees to pay more toward their own retirement. 




The bill passed 28-16 Friday and goes to Republican Gov. Haley Barbour, who''s expected to sign it into law because he requested it. 




For two years starting July 1, educators and employees of state and local governments would have to put 9 percent of their pay into the Mississippi Public Employees Retirement System. That''s up from the current 7.25 percent. 




Barbour says if workers don''t pay more into their own pension, more state tax dollars would be needed to keep the fund solvent. 




Opponents say some workers are struggling, and the pension change amounts to a pay cut.