Oklahoma public workers oppose pension proposals
By SEAN MURPHY, Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Hundreds of teachers, firefighters and state employees rallied at the Oklahoma Capitol on Monday to protest proposed changes to the retirement system for public workers.
Many of the workers visited with their legislators and urged them to stop a Republican-backed plan to shift newly hired state employees from the current traditional defined-benefit pension system to a 401(k)-style defined-contribution retirement plan.
“That’s our security,” said Cheryl Tate, a 35-year teaching veteran from Lawton. “We’re upset. We want to know why they want to change it.”
Two bills already have passed through committees in the House and Senate that would shift newly hired state workers into the new retirement system, and Gov. Mary Fallin says she supports the effort. Although the measures don’t apply to teachers or firefighters, opponents of the bills say it’s likely teachers will be targeted next.