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INDIANAPOLIS | A House-approved measure halting the privatization of a state annuity program for retired government employees, including teachers, cleared a Senate committee Wednesday 9-0 and advances to the full Senate.

House Bill 1075 prohibits the trustees of the Indiana Public Retirement System, known as INPRS, from going forward with plans to turn the program over to a third-party annuity provider.

The House proposal delayed privatization by five years. The Senate Pensions and Labor Committee agreed never to permit privatization.

Retired INPRS members receive a modest monthly pension payment that can be supplemented by converting their retirement savings account into an INPRS-administered annuity that pays a 7.5 percent interest rate, well above current market rates.

The Senate committee revised the legislation to require INPRS trustees set an annuity interest rate twice a year that matches the interest rate on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note, plus 1.5 percent. That's approximately 4.25 percent.

State Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, said the change will enable public employees considering retirement to know exactly how much money they can expect from their annuity.

The House plan gave INPRS trustees more flexibility in setting the annuity interest rate.

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