Legislation to reform the process known as double-dipping won approval from the Florida House of Representatives today. House Bill 479 by Rep. Robert Schenck (R-Spring Hill), closes a loophole that has allowed a growing number of elected officials and state employees to collect retirement benefits and a state salary at the same time.
“At a time when people are out of work and the economy is on a decline, I am happy we took this step to end the practice of double-dipping,” Schenck said in a press release. “This legislation will provide accountability to the taxpayers of Florida.”
Florida law now allows a state employee to retire and return to work in 30 days. The new bill extends the time state employees must stay in retirement to six months, otherwise they would be required to forfeit their pension. If an employee returns to work for the state, their pension would be suspended for 12 months from the date of retirement.
It also prohibits renewed enrollment, meaning state employees cannot accrue a new pension in addition to the original pension they already earned.
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A companion bill is being considered in the Florida Senate.