Arizona Legislature

Arizona State Senators assemble, Thursday, May 16, 2013, at the Capitol in Phoenix.

Associated Press

Legislation to limit how much future public employees can collect in pensions was dealt a setback on Monday.

Existing law bases retirement pay on a combination of highest salary and years of service. Workers can collect up to 80 percent of their earnings.

HB 2058 spells out that only up to $150,000 of earnings in any one year can be counted toward pension computations. Rep. David Livingston, R-Peoria, said the measure is a no-brainer method of protecting the financial stability of the state's retirement plans.

“This limits pensions for high income people,” he said. “And, by doing so, it helps protect people that get pensions with lower pensions.”

Livingston said the measure is prospective only and does not apply to anyone currently employed and already accumulating benefits.

The Senate approved the measure early Monday on a 16-7 margin. But the House came up two votes short of the 31 needed for final approval.

Backers have the opportunity to have that vote reconsidered later this week.

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