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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 6, 2012 12:18 PM. The previous post in this blog was Homeless in Eugene: the city government. The next post in this blog is Portland Timbers worth $15 million?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Lots of questions about proposed Portland cop pension changes

We thought we understood the City of Portland police and fire pension and disability morass, but aspects of this story have us scratching our head. The city's voters are going to be asked this November to make changes to the retirement and disability system, among them:

-- Clarifying the calculation of retirement benefits to include only pay a member received in the year preceding retirement.

-- Changing eligibility for disability benefits for new members after completion of six consecutive months of employment as a sworn employee.

-- Changing the calculation of service credit to not include post-employrnent service by another employer.

We thought that the state supreme court has ruled that you can't change the terms of a government employee's retirement benefits once they're hired, and so how will the first and third changes fly?

And we thought that everyone hired onto the police and fire forces after 2006 were in the state PERS system, rather than the unfunded city system, and so how come we're talking about changing the startup eligiility rule?

Other parts of the proposed revision package appear designed to increase benefits, rather than reduce them. We find the whole thing just a wee bit strange. Maybe a knowledgable reader can help us decipher this.

Comments (7)

There is ever only one answer to these types of questions: it will cost us more.

It appears this "amendment" would apply only to the Fund - as in the FPD&R Fund. Thus, is applies only to the Fund members - those who were in the system prior to 2006 (and who will remain in the Fund until they retire). However,any amendments to the Fund, even those "approved" by a vote of the people cannot be implemented without satisfying the requirements for "impact bargaining" under the state collective bargaining law known as PECBA. Saltzman has been on the City Council for what, fourteen years now, and he still does not get it with PECBA. He is a nice guy, may be the least conniving of any sitting council member, but he continues to be a clueless dullard when it comes to details in human resources/labor relations ~ you know, the stuff that drives 80% of the City's on-going costs (sorry Dan - the truth is not always kind).

It's being presented as a clarification "this measure clarifies how retirernent benefits are calculated to ensure a member
receives a pension that is based on the Final Pay a member rcceived or was entitled to receive
during tlie year preceding their retirerment"

This measure clarifies how retirement benefits are calculated to ensure a member receives a pension that is based on the Final Pay a member received or was entitled to receive during the year receding their retirement. Currently, the Charter is written to allow a member to receive a larger retirement benefit depending on when the member retires by
including more than a typical year's worth of salary and including lump
sum payments athibutable to service from years prior to the year preceding retirement.This measure corrects that by clearly defining the pay that is included in the member,s Final Pay at retirement

Does this mean that someone in their last year of retirement will issue a ton of traffic cites and run up OT in court?

"Clarifying the calculation of retirement benefits to include only pay a member received in the year preceding retirement."

That's great - They only have to save their vacation and overtime for just the last year.

We need to get away from a defined benefit program - This is just Randy screwing with us some more.

Tell me again where the money come from for the FPD&R Fund? And tell me again how to report a "fireman," collecting disability pay for a shoulder injury, that I see every day lugging fifty-pound boards to remodel his house. Are my property taxes really going to pay for this scammer of public funds?


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