A bill scheduled for consideration today in the Government Operations Subcommittee of the Florida House of Representatives would weaken a healthy retirement system, raise taxpayer costs and force more Floridians to rely on social services, according to opponents of the measure.

The bill would close the Florida Retirement System defined benefit plan Jan. 1, and force all public employees hired by government agencies after that into defined contribution plans.

"There's no fire threatening the Florida Retirement System except the fire the Legislature is lighting with unnecessary and costly legislation," said Gary Rainey, president of Florida Professional Firefighters, a member of the Florida Retirement Security Coalition.

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