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House Approves Judicial Retirement Changes (Mar 02, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Legislation that would raise the average retirement age for state judges and lower their benefits has been approved by the Oklahoma House.

The House voted 61-29 for the measure Wednesday and sent it to the Senate for consideration.

The bill by Rep. Randy McDaniel of Edmond is one of several measures designed to address a collective $16.5 billion unfunded liability in Oklahoma's public pension systems. Lawmakers say the pension crisis threatens the state's bond rating and its ability to borrow money for such capital projects as roads and bridges.

The measure raises the retirement age for judges with 10 years of service from 60 to 62. It also lowers the multiplier used to calculate annual pension contributions from 4 percent to 2 percent of their salary, beginning Jan. 1, 2012.

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