Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: March 8, 2011
Sen. Mike Mazzei
Senate votes to end pension gravy train for elected officials
The full Senate has voted 42-2 to end a long-standing retirement
formula that enables elected officials in Oklahoma to receive twice
the retirement benefit as state employees. Sen. Mike Mazzei is principal
author of Senate Bill 794.
“At a time when we’re downsizing government because
of less revenue and tighter budgets, we need to send a message to
the voters that the days of special treatment for elected officials
are coming to an end,” said Mazzei, R-Tulsa.
Mazzei is chair of the Senate Select Committee on Pensions charged
with recommending reforms to address the state’s $16 billion
unfunded liability in its retirement systems. Although the Oklahoma
Constitution makes it impossible for the legislature to vote to
change their salary, they do have the power to statutorily change
retirement benefits for specific groups.
“Shockingly, somewhere in the history of Oklahoma politics,
legislators created an extra, souped-up benefit for themselves inside
the Oklahoma Public Employee Retirement System. This bill would
make sure future elected officials have the same retirement benefits
that all other government employees have,” Mazzei said.
SB 794 would realign benefits for future members of the legislature,
statewide elected officials and elected officials at the county
level who opt to participate in OPERS.
The measure now moves to the House of Representative for further
For more information contact:
Sen. Mazzei: (405) 521-5675