City, pension fund inching toward deal

Published On: May 15 2014 05:56:19 PM EDT   Updated On: May 15 2014 08:51:28 PM EDT

VIDEO: Will the city’s push for pension reform reduce the benefits that will be paid to current police and fire employees? The mayor and the police and fire pension fund are finishing up two weeks of talks. They’re trying to solve the $1.7 billion pension deficit.


Two weeks of negotiations between Jacksonville officials and the Police and Fire Pension Fund over a $1.7 billion funding deficit has made some progress.

By Thursday afternoon, all parties are still talking about changes in benefits for current employees. They're close on a deal to increase the retirement contribution of current employees to 10 percent and enhance the fund's investment authority.

But there are three sticking points:

  • Amount of the cost-of-living increase for retirees
  • Changes to deferred retirement option program (DROP
  • Length of term of the pension agreement

The pension fund has agreed to give $100 million over five years to the city to help pay down its debt.

"The board is in favor of comprehensive reform," said Executive Director John Keane. "We put a lot of time and effort in this.  I've been working on it since 2007. I will be glad to get it behind us."

The board adjourned Friday with plans to meet again on Tuesday.

"I'm very optimistic about our progress today; significant progress," Mayor Alvin Brown said.  "We have a few issues that we have to deal with, so we're coming back next week. So we will be able to wrap it up."


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