Changes to Fort Worth employee retirement fund loom



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Posted on July 10, 2012 at 11:40 PM

FORT WORTH - Changes to Fort Worth’s employee retirement fund could be coming.

During Tuesday’s meeting, city leaders passed a resolution notifying the city’s retirement fund board that it will look at proposed pension reductions.

The changes include eliminating overtime when calculating an officer’s retirement benefits.

"For line-of-duty police officers, these proposals amount to nothing more than a penalty for dedication to a very dangerous job," said Sgt. Stephen Hall with the Fort Worth Police Officers’ Association.

Critics say the current system allows employees to earn extreme amounts of overtime in the few years before retirement, also called overtime spiking. City staffers point to data that showed in rare cases, some officers managed to increase their pension by more than 50 percent, because of overtime.

Other proposed changes would mean some employees would have to work more years before they can retire. Proposals also include changes to cost of living adjustments.

City leaders said some tough decisions are ahead for its employees.

"It doesn't come easily for any of us," said councilman Dennis Shingleton. "There’s clearly some heartache involved in this."

The council will now consider the proposals and make a recommendation within ninety days.