Warning of a growing public pension debt crisis, Sen. Orrin Hatch introduced reform legislation on Tuesday that would allow state and local governments to invest in annuity contracts with private life insurance companies for employee retirement benefits. But a number of pension experts questioned whether the proposal would work and at least one charged it is an effort to allow private insurance companies to raid public assets.

The senator from Utah, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, introduced The Secure Annuities for Employee (SAFE) Retirement Act of 2013 in a speech before the Senate, warning, “America cannot continue sleepwalking into the financial disaster that awaits us if we do not get the public pension debt crisis under control.”

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