PR senators debate changes to teacher pensions

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Associated Press

Posted on December 23, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 24 at 3:03 AM

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico's Senate is debating possible changes to the U.S. island's pension system for teachers.

Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla says the teacher pension system has a $10 billion deficit and will run out of money in seven years unless changes are made. He has submitted a bill that would increase contributions by individual teachers and restructure the defined benefit plan.

Puerto Rico's House of Representatives passed the measure Saturday.

The teachers union is fighting the proposal. On Monday evening, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Senate and chanted: "You don't have the votes."

The Moody's rating agency recently mentioned the teacher pension system when it put Puerto Rico's bonds on review for a possible downgrade.

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