What do you think?

Jacksonville officials are touting an agreement for pension reform as “historic” and “financially sustainable.” Mayor Alvin Brown announced May 8 that the city had reached an agreement with the city unions that will save $1.1 billion over the next 30 years and save the city about $50 million it would've had to put in the pension fund in October. The agreement, which covers the Fraternal Order of Police, the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters and the Jacksonville Police & Fire Pension Fund, will modify retirement benefits for police and fire employees hired after Oct. 1. Current police and fire employees still pay into the fund and keep their current benefits. A key point states the provisions for selecting administrators to the Police Fire & Pension Fund after current administrator John Keane retires. Future administrators must have five years of pension or institutional investment experience and advanced degrees; retirement system directing experience preferred.

Read what Folio Weekly Editor Denise M. Reagan had to say about the deal here, then share your thoughts.

Are the reforms a good deal for taxpayers? How about Jacksonville's public safety employees?

We share the best responses in the print version of Folio Weekly.

2 results total
JohnWinkler

The Mayor's secretly negotiated pension agreement is a fantastic deal for him (virtually guaranteeing his reelection with full public safety support), a great deal for the present fire and police, an excellent deal for new fire and police hires, and, for the taxpayers - well, not so good. Unfortunately the $1,684,000,000 present value of the unfunded accrued actuarial liability at the Police and Fire Pension Fund is not going to be reduced dollar-for-dollar by the (claimed) $1.1 billion savings over 30 years. Those "savings" are NOT reduced to present value, and include the removal of some dubious liabilities that the City never agreed to pay. Even taking the press conference numbers at face value, and assuming the "savings" are evenly distributed over the next 30 years rather than loaded toward the distant future, the present value using the 7% interest rate urged by the pension fund gives a present value of less than $500 million, leaving an unfunded present value pension liability to the taxpayers of nearly $1.2 billion dollars.

Any reform, whether negotiated in public with the unions as the law requires or behind closed doors in a sham litigation "mediation," has to address the ENTIRE unfunded pension liability by raising contributions, reducing expenditures and benefits, or a combination of both. Otherwise the problem is merely smokescreened for a year or two ... long enough to get the Mayor and City Council past the 2015 spring elections, but not much more.

Thursday, May 16, 2013 | Report comment
ROliver

How ironic "Hogs" on the Folio Weekly cover and inside the "Pigs" at the Jacksonville Police & Fire Pension Fund feasting at the trough of public funds. The PFPF rules as demonstrated by John Keene (with his cashing in 1,200 hours of leave time for $163,400, the potential $200,00 a year pension, the paying $300,000 of Keene's legal fees etc) and even Richard Cannon police officer/convicted child molester who instead of being thrown out on his ass is provided a police pension with the blessings of the PFPF leadership/rules. Sadly this demonstrates a slick and shifty Three-card Monte arrangement of "rules" with the taxpayers always taking the hit.

Problem is the City of Jacksonville wants growth, good jobs, things that contribute to our lives etc unfortunately when the Government squanders money this way the infrastructure of the city suffers. It's just not a good idea to go swimming with a weight belt on and as usual the Mayors Office has signed up for the public to do this essentially forever.

Roberto Hurstezz

Thursday, May 16, 2013 | Report comment
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