The Puerto Rico House of Representatives approved an overhaul of the Teachers' Pension Reform on Saturday.
The Puerto Rico Senate met at 1 p.m. on Monday and soon thereafter voted to take a temporary recess while the Senate finance committee was to meet in executive session.
The full Senate was scheduled to resume discussions at 2:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.
Gov. Alejandro García Padilla convened the two bodies in a special session on Thursday. The governor is having the bodies deal with several other matters along with the teachers' pension reform.
When Moody's Investors Service put Puerto Rico on review for a downgrade, it named the reform of the teachers' pension system as one of five things in Puerto Rico that it would keep an eye on during the review period.
The House legislators approved an amended version of the governor's pension reform for teachers. The governor supports the amendments, according a source close to him.
Puerto Rico teachers' organizations are threatening to go on strike starting Jan. 1 and engage in civil disobedience if the legislature approves the pension reform, according El Vocero de Puerto Rico news site.
There are reports of violence between protesting teachers and policemen over the weekend concerning the pension reform.
After the House vote, the Teachers Association of Puerto Rico posted a message on their web site: "Last night we were run over again by a government that insists on stomping on their most important working class, the teachers. We cannot give up and we have to continue the fight for a dignified retirement."
If the senate amends the reform bill, the house would have to consider the amended version. This could not be done until both bodies reconvene for their normally scheduled session on Jan. 13.
The teachers' pension plan has a $10 billion actuarial liability and is expected to run out of money in 2020 unless it is overhauled. Without an overhaul, starting in 2020 Puerto Rico's general fund would have to fund the deficit.
Puerto Rico's House also approved a reform of the judicial pension system but this had a much smaller actuarial deficit. The Senate will also consider voting on the reform bill for this system.