State Senator Proposes End To Pensions For Elected Officials

Jan 8, 2014

A Washington state senator says if 401(k) plans are good enough for Boeing machinists, they should be good enough for those who hold elected office.

Republican John Braun on Wednesday said he will introduce legislation to end pensions for all elected officials in Washington.

Braun is a freshman state senator and business owner who already doesn’t participate in the state pension system. He says he understands why some machinists were incensed recently when elected officials with pensions urged them to make concessions on theirs.

“For folks to say you need to take this deal and not be willing to is somewhat hypocritical,” Braun said.

So now Braun says he will propose legislation that would end pensions for elected officials in Washington and move them into a new 401(k)- style plan.

“When you make this kind of reform, it’s appropriate that you start at the top,” Braun said.

It’s unclear what sort of support or opposition Bruan’s idea will have in the legislative session that begins on Monday. However, House Democratic Leader Pat Sullivan says it would be “an interesting conversation to have.”

Last year, the Oregon Legislature ended pensions for newly-elected legislators.