As reported by, employees with at least 20 years of service would lock in their retirement benefits under a last-minute change to the health and pension overhaul bill, according to Senate Democrats.

Under the current bill, only those employees with at least 25 years of service would have had their retirement benefits locked in, which in many cases means no cost health plans, but now that would be lowered to 20 years, according to Senate Democratic spokesman Derek Roseman.

The change will be welcome news to thousands of public workers nearing retirement age. A hearing on the bill has yet to begin before the Senate Budget Committee. The bill’s architect, Senate President Stephen Sweeney, is expected to testify and explain the changes. The bill, in short, shifts more pension and health benefit costs onto public workers. Unions argue that it interferes with collective bargaining.