OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- New Oklahoma teachers would have to wait longer before becoming eligible for the state pension system and before they could retire under a bill unanimously approved in the Senate.
The Senate approved the bill Wednesday as part of an effort to shore up the estimated $16.5 billion in unfunded liability among the state's five major pension systems.
The bill increases the number of years a new teacher must work to become eligible to participate in the Teachers Retirement System from five to eight years. It also increases from 62 to 65 the age at which a new teacher would become eligible for retirement.
Another key change would require that any cost of living allowance, or COLA, granted to retirees be funded by the Legislature.
About 500 teaches rallied at the State Capitol Tuesday to push for better retirement plans and better funding in schools.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.