Published: Feb 07, 2013 3:29 PM EST

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A proposal to end guaranteed pensions for new teachers, state and county workers and other public employees has begun moving through the Florida Legislature.
    
A House panel on Thursday voted to file a proposed committee bill. It would replace traditional defined benefit pensions with individual investment accounts similar to 401(k)'s for employees hired after Jan. 1, 2014.
    
The measure is a top priority for Republican legislative leaders and cleared the Government Operations Subcommittee on a largely partisan roll call.
    
Republicans contended the switch would save taxpayers money. Democrats, union officials and other critics argued it would have the opposite result.
    
No one disputed that the Florida Retirement System currently is one of the nation's best-funded pension plans, but Republicans said they're afraid that could change in the future.

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