Firefighter and police pension vote delayed
Lincoln is not alone, when it comes to challenges in funding police and fire pensions.
So they’re trying to look over a plan that could help earmark the money needed.
The city council was supposed to vote on increasing pension funds for firefighters and police officers, it’s not an easy fix.
So, they’ve decided to push the decision back a week, after language in the resolution didn’t match what the Citizens Committee intended.
City Attorney, Jeff Kirkpatrick, said, "Well, I think this is an important step forward because it sets in our city code what the funding goals for the pension plan is."
An actuarial assessment says that the recommended contributions to the retirement fund have fallen short by $7 million since 1990. And with the hardship that the recession of 2009 brought, it’s been tough to get back on track.
But Ron Trouba, President of the Lincoln Fire Fighters Association, says that doesn’t paint the whole picture.
"If they shortchange their contributions, by say, a million dollars in 1990. That certainly doesn’t have the same value that it would today," said Trouba.
Last year, the city funded the program at 63%, this year they contributed 80%. This resolution would increase that number to 115%, to try and catch up.
"The funding change is more of a commitment to the Lincoln taxpayers, that the city council is committing themselves; put themselves on a payment track, where they will be 100% funded in 28 years," said Kirkpatrick.
The report also suggested a contribution of $8 million, last year, they fell $200,000 short of that.
Nearly 1,100 employees are part of this retirement plan.
"It is very necessary for the city to uphold their end of the bargain, and say that we are going to make sure that there is funding for that compensation in the future," said Trouba.