2017 February

Rhode Island (Providence) – Suspended COLAs, Reduced Benefits

Posted by StuartBuck in Recently Updated on February 15, 2017 with Comments Off on Rhode Island (Providence) – Suspended COLAs, Reduced Benefits

Law:

  1. L. 2011, ch. 151, art. 12, § 2, codified as G.L. 1956 § 28-54-1 (Medicare Enrollment Statute);
  2. Providence, R.I., Code of Ordinances, ch. 2011-32, No. 422, amending Code of Ordinances, art. VI, ch.17 (Medicare Ordinance); and
  3. Providence, R.I., Code of Ordinances, ch. 2012-20, No. 276, amending Code of Ordinances, art. VI, ch.17 (Pension Ordinance).

Type of reform:

On June 30, 2011, the state of Rhode Island passed the State Medicare Enrollment Statute, which provided that municipalities—participating or not participating in the municipal employees’ retirement system—may require their employees to enroll in Medicare, notwithstanding other available benefits.

Subsequently, on July 19, the city of Providence passed the Medicare Ordinance requiring employees and retired employees to enroll in Medicare and providing that all benefits to retirees under the city’s health plans would be secondary to Medicare.

The Pension Ordinance, enacted on April 19, 2012, suspended COLAs until the pension system reached a funding ratio of 70 percent.

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Texas (Dallas) — Reduced Benefits, Deferred Retirement

Posted by StuartBuck in All on February 7, 2017 with Comments Off on Texas (Dallas) — Reduced Benefits, Deferred Retirement

Law/reform: 

DROP Policy Addendum adopted by the Board of Trustees for the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System (January 2017)

 

Type of reform:

Police officers and firefighters in Dallas were allowed to participate in a Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) and remain employed as their pension checks were deferred and held in special accounts to accrue interest.  The funds in the DROP account were distributed following the employee’s retirement.

Over time, the city’s retirement fund became underfunded and individuals began pulling their savings out of the system. On Dec. 5, 2016, Dallas Mayor Michael Rawlings filed a lawsuit against the Dallas Police and Firefighter Pension System in his individual capacity, seeking an injunction to prevent further withdrawals from the DROP accounts. On Feb. 8, 2017, four city council members—who are also four of the 12 trustees on the pension board—filed pleadings to join Mayor Rawlings’ lawsuit.

In an effort to reduce withdrawals, on Jan. 12, 2017, the Board of Trustees for the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System adopted a DROP Policy Addendum providing that—with the exception of mandatory withdrawals and unforeseeable emergency withdrawals—there would be no withdrawals available before March 31, 2017.  

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