PHOENIX – A committee that studied funding issues with Arizona's pension system for public employees is recommending that current and former workers be allowed to move into a 401(k)-style plan as an optional alternative to fixed-benefit pensions.

The state also should raise the retirement age for future public employees and change the law to prevent public employees from spiking their pensions, if Arizona is interested in changing its underfunded public-pension system, according to the report by a pension-study committee led by state Treasurer Doug Ducey.

Ducey said the nonbinding proposals would protect public pensions for current employees and provide long-term financial security for Arizona public-pension trusts. They would have to be enacted by the Legislature and Gov. Jan Brewer.

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