Currently, Alabama circuit clerks and district attorneys do not have to contribute to their retirement benefits. A YES vote on March 1 to Amendment 1 would create a new retirement plan for all new judges, justices, circuit clerks and district attorneys elected on or after Nov. 8, 2016.
Amendment 1 offers a more conservative benefit plan and requires these elected officials to contribute to their retirement. This new benefit plan will be similar to retirement plans of teachers and state employees.
Amendment 1 also sets a minimum retirement age of 62 for all new judges, justices, circuit clerks and district attorneys. Current law allows some elected officials to retire after a defined number of years of service regardless of age, entitling some to draw sizable pensions for life.
If voters approve Amendment 1 on March 1, the state may implement mandatory employee contributions and establish a minimum retirement age.
Voting YES on Amendment 1 will result in major cost savings for the state general fund over the next 20-30 years. It is estimated to save $10-20 million annually by reforming the retirement benefits for these elected officials.
Alabama Farmers Federation policy supports passage of Amendment 1.