Alaska House of Representatives late Thursday struck down a key retirement bill that would have overhauled the state's pension systems. But the issue has not been cleared from the agenda entirely; state Rep. Mike Kelly gave notice of reconsideration of the vote, and the proposal could be addressed again as early as today. The Legislature adjourns May 10.
The bill would switch future state employees to a new defined contribution plan that offers individual investment accounts. The bill also would merge the three state retirement boards into the Alaska Retirement Management Board. The bill, which also aims to address the $5.7 billion pension shortfall, would affect employees hired after July 1, 2005.
Separately, the Alaska State Affairs Committee has voted to move a bill out of committee that would give the $29.8 billion Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., Juneau, greater flexibility in setting its asset allocation, said Laura Achee, research and communications liaison. The legislation would end the need for state legislative approval of any deviations from a legal list of investments.
The bill now moves to the Senate Finance Committee, but it's unclear whether it will be passed by the time the Legislature adjourns, Ms. Achee said. The Alaska House already passed the bill. "Changes to the list could be done in a matter of weeks instead of a matter of years," Ms. Achee explained.