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State retirement bill advanced to governor

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A Missouri Senate bill advanced yesterday to the governor could create a different retirement plan for state employees hired next year and beyond.

House Bill 1, which was handled in the Senate by Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, would affect a person who becomes a state employee on or after Jan. 1, 2011.

If the bill is signed by Gov. Jay Nixon, eligible employees could retire at age 67 with 10 years of service or at age 55 with the sum of the employee's age and years of service equaling at least 90, according to a Senate news release.

The bill also would require affected employees to contribute 4 percent of their pay into their defined retirement benefit, the release said.

The new retirement plan could save money for the state, which spent $163 million this year from the General Revenue to help fund state employee pensions, Majority Floor Leader Sen. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington, said in the release.

"By making the pension system for new employees more cost effective, we reduce the burden on our General Revenue, ultimately allowing us to invest those dollars in education or other top priorities," he said.

The bill would not affect public school teachers, the release said.[[In-content Ad]]

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