Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The legislation would provide teachers, troopers, firefighters and other public employees the chance to earn a pension.
The proposal, Senate Bill 46, will save schools, cities, and the State of Alaska money because the bill shares the risk of rising health costs between workers and employers. The new pensions won't cost employers more than the defined contribution system, and analyses of past versions of the bill show it saves the state roughly $70 million in the first ten years.
Sen. Kiehl said this bill could help keep valuable employees, "Alaska teachers and public employees don't earn the private sector's defined benefit of Social Security. A lot of folks even lose Social Security benefits they earned in past jobs, making public service less attractive in Alaska," said Sen. Kiehl. "We need to recruit and retain the highest quality Troopers, firefighters, teachers, and other public employees. This bill will make Alaska competitive, and it's fiscally prudent, especially in a time where we're looking for government efficiencies."
Kiehl pointed out that taxpayers spend around $195,000 to replace a Trooper, $54,000 per firefighter, and an average of $22,000 per teacher. "Lowering turnover will save the state and the local taxpayer a lot of money."
Senate Bill 46 is referred to the Community & Regional Affairs Committee and the Finance Committee.