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Puerto Rico Senate approves teacher pension change

December 24, 2013

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico lawmakers have approved changes to the teachers’ retirement system that were sought by the U.S. island territory’s government to shore up its finances.

The Senate approved a package of changes in a 15-12 vote during a special session. The House of Representatives approved the bill over the weekend and Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla is expected to sign it into law in the coming days.

Union leaders opposed the changes and have threatened to strike when classes resume in January. Garcia warned that the retirement system had a $10.5 billion shortfall and would be insolvent by 2020 without reforms.

The changes approved late Monday include converting the system to a defined contribution instead of a defined benefit pension. It also raises the retirement age for future employees.

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