By The Associated Press
Channel 2 News
10:03 AM AKST, January 23, 2013
A Juneau senator has reintroduced legislation that would let public employees opt in to a traditional pension program.
Sen. Dennis Egan said the measure, SB30, is cost-neutral, and will give employees a choice.
Egan got a similar bill passed the Senate last year, but it died in the House.
Alaska went from a defined benefit, or pension, program to a defined contribution, or 401(k)-style, benefit in 2005. Union leaders last year testified that this has hurt efforts to retain employees. The Parnell administration opposed the bill, with Deputy Commissioner of Administration Mike Barnhill saying no defined benefit bill can guarantee it won't have creeping unfunded liabilities.
Alaska faces $11 billion in unfunded pension liabilities due to things like actuarial mistakes, a stock market dive, health care costs and longer-living retirees.
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