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Mass. Senate Approves Pension Overhaul

The Massachusetts Senate has approved an overhaul of the state's pension system.

The bill passed Thursday by a 24-10 vote would push back minimum retirement ages for most state and municipal employees from 55 to 60, beginning with workers hired after Jan. 1, 2012. It also reduces some incentives for early retirement.

The bill would base pension benefits on the average of an employee's five highest wage-earning years, replacing the current three-year formula.

In a concession to retirees, the measure would raise from $12,000 to $13,000 the base amount for calculating cost-of-living increases.

Supporters of the measure say it will save the state $5 billion over the next 30 years and reduce Massachusetts' unfunded pension liability.

The bill was opposed by many public employee unions. It now goes to the House.

This program aired on September 15, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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