Author Topic: Freeze & 40: A Plan for Pension Reform in Jacksonville  (Read 3753 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Freeze & 40: A Plan for Pension Reform in Jacksonville
« on: March 03, 2014, 03:00:01 AM »
Freeze & 40: A Plan for Pension Reform in Jacksonville



A Proposal to Reform the Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension Fund and Restore Jacksonville’s Financial Future.


Read More: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2014-mar-freeze-40-a-plan-for-pension-reform-in-jacksonville

vicupstate

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Re: Freeze & 40: A Plan for Pension Reform in Jacksonville
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2014, 05:26:11 AM »
So this plan will solve the funding problem, not raise any taxes and actually cut property taxes??!!

Sounds too good to be true and/or the retirees are making all the sacrifices.

Obviously the 2001 changes were a huge mistake, but didn't the city take a 'holiday' from the required payments during the early 2000's too?

A 12 to 1 match on a 401k is unheard of (try 1 to 1, if you are LUCKY). 0.50 to 1 is more the norm.
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tufsu1

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Re: Freeze & 40: A Plan for Pension Reform in Jacksonville
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2014, 09:34:52 AM »
This is published in the Opinion section of MJ.  Who wrote it?

tufsu1

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Re: Freeze & 40: A Plan for Pension Reform in Jacksonville
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2014, 09:43:52 AM »
Thanks!

Redbaron616

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Re: Freeze & 40: A Plan for Pension Reform in Jacksonville
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2014, 09:52:52 AM »
The politicians who kicked the can down the road and ignored this problem for decades should pay three times whatever tax increase ends up being put in place. They ignored the problem and should have to shoulder more of the burden than the population at large. Of course, our national leaders are doing the same thing right now, only at a national level. Unfortunately, the problem there includes a lot more than pensions/retirements!

TheCat

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Re: Freeze & 40: A Plan for Pension Reform in Jacksonville
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2014, 11:22:49 AM »
Quote
A 12 to 1 match on a 401k is unheard of (try 1 to 1, if you are LUCKY). 0.50 to 1 is more the norm.

Sure, it's unheard of in the "private" sector but creating an avenue where significant contributions are made to a 401k is still far less then what we pay to pensions.

You have to remember, and I think that it is true, Police and Fire do carry a special kind of weight in our society. One that, I think, compels higher pay. For one, there are thousands of cities recruiting police and fire. For two, you don't want your police or fire in a position where they can be more tempted by bribery. For three, you want long term commitment. You don't want to train police and fire only for them to leave to higher paying cities.

I understand that there are multiple reasons why our pension liability ballooned so drastically...if I remember correctly, the COLA was not introduced to Jacksonville until the late 90s early 2000s. I'm wondering if that is the real "killer" of our financial liability. COLA's easily drive annual payout well over the last annual salary received before retirement.

As an FYI, our pension dangers are specifically related to Jacksonville Police and Fire.

We have two other pension "systems" in our city. One for the general employees and the other for corrections officers. Neither of these are a part of the pension conversation because they do not pose a financial threat.

NotNow

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Re: Freeze & 40: A Plan for Pension Reform in Jacksonville
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2014, 04:24:16 AM »
There has always been a COLA, it just became a fixed 3% in the last agreement.  I don't think that you will find much support for a COLA that is less than the cost of living from the pension members.

Also, for the authors, if you compare PFPP to a military retirement, then you should include social security.  Military gets it, Police & Fire don't.  If you go to a 401k plan, then (I believe) the city would be required to participate in SS, so you should add the 6.2% to both the city and the members contributions.  You also left out that military retirees recieve lifetime medical insurance.   PFPP members recieve no medical insurance benefits upon retirement.  You would also have to add insurance against career ending injury, which the pension currently covers.  Either way, Jacksonville continues to offer the least in retirement of every Sheriff's Office in the state.  A more honest pay comparison would be with City of Tampa, Hillsbourough County, City of Orlando, Orange County, and Miami-Dade.   And as the pay continues to drop relative to other agencies, currently the lowest of any major S.O. in the state, with the lowest pension benefit of any major S.O. in the state, along with the highest educational requirements....watch as experienced Officers continue to leave and recruiting continues to fall short.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2014, 08:17:00 PM by NotNow »
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NotNow

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Re: Freeze & 40: A Plan for Pension Reform in Jacksonville
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2014, 08:19:20 PM »
Tom Majdanics
Michael Yang
Christopher Owens
Felisa Franklin

Any response?
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NotNow

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Re: Freeze & 40: A Plan for Pension Reform in Jacksonville
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2014, 09:43:19 PM »
-The City of Jacksonville wants to maintain independence from the Social Security system for non-executive employees.  They will fight tooth and nail against any proposal that would change that.   (It would probably just add that 6.2% to what will have to be paid anyway...to all employees.)

-Police & Fire Pension will never accept the proposal that the fifth member of the pension board be appointed by the mayor.  (The fifth member is currently voted on by the other four, two of which represent Police & Fire and two of which represent the city.)  The result would obviously just be a tool of the city.  Why have the farce of a "board" at all? 

-Both sides have an interest in continuing the current system, while adjusting the payments and benefits.   So essentially, the only real discussion is:
What will be the contribution of the employees? 
What will be the formula for pension benefits?
How will the unfunded liability be paid? 
How will the COLA be addressed? 
How will the DROP program continue?

There are a number of reasons that the proposal in the article won't work.  Municipal High Risk pensions are highly regulated by state law and this proposal does not meet the requirements of either the City of Jacksonville or the Police & Fire.

All of this fails the citizens of Jacksonville.  It is a false savings.  Qualified Police Officers and FireFighters will just go elsewhere to work. (As they have been doing over the last couple of years.)  Sure, they might take the job here to get initial training and quals or just to be paid while waiting to get hired somewhere else.   Jacksonville will be a "feeder" agency and will pay much more to train replacing employees just to see them leave for greener pastures within a few years.  In the long run, citizens will pay more for a less professional public safety service. 

The right thing to do is to simply guage what the standard is in the state.   Look at similar sized agencies for salary, benefits, and retirement.  Then provide a midrange compensation package.  What business doesn't use this method for setting compensation? 
« Last Edit: March 08, 2014, 09:49:09 PM by NotNow »
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NotNow

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Re: Freeze & 40: A Plan for Pension Reform in Jacksonville
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2014, 11:09:35 PM »
Exactly.  The city has mismanaged contributing to the fund, so now we are expected to give the city managing control?  An inherently stupid idea. 

Why is it that similar positions compensation packages around the state are important when we are considering airport managers and budget directors, but not a consideration when considering public safety workers compensation? 
« Last Edit: March 09, 2014, 03:10:14 PM by NotNow »
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ChriswUfGator

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Re: Freeze & 40: A Plan for Pension Reform in Jacksonville
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2014, 01:18:26 AM »
I think you deserve 100% of what you were promised when you accepted the job, with no cuts at all. If that means a slight increase in property taxes, then so be it. Despite what Brown acts like, it's hardly the end of the world and has happened pretty much everywhere else in the face of declining tax revenues statewide due to the real estate collapse. All of this political maneuvering is really a farce.


NotNow

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Re: Freeze & 40: A Plan for Pension Reform in Jacksonville
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2014, 01:43:54 AM »
The political game and the misinformation is really disappointing.
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carpnter

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Re: Freeze & 40: A Plan for Pension Reform in Jacksonville
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2014, 04:38:26 PM »
I am not crazy about everything in this proposal but it is more than anything that has come out of the Mayor's office.  He has already pretty much declared the work of his Pension Task Force dead on arrival.  It is going to be up to either the City Council or the citizens of Jacksonville voting Brown out of office and voting someone it who is willing to make the difficult decisions regardless of the impact they have on their political future.