Dallas Could Save Big on Pension Costs Because So Many Workers Have Retired

Nearly two years ago, in the shadow of a growing Dallas Police and Fire Pension System debacle, officials with the city employees' civilian pension fund were preparing to ask for their own fix to prevent the possibility of insolvency.They got what they wanted in November 2016 when voters approved complex ballot language that translated into benefit cuts for future employees. And now, Employees' Retirement Fund officials say it's already paying off.A combination of good investment returns and higher-than-expected turnover that has lowered the system's long-term costs and cut into its future funding gap.The latest valuation "shows how much difference a year makes," said Cheryl Alston, the ERF's executive director. And ERF Board Chairman John Jenkins said it was "good news to taxpayers, good news to the city and good news to employees.""Our whole goal was to put the fund in a position to make it solvent," Jenkins said.About 13 percent of the ERF's 7,838 active members are now in what is known as Tier B, the less lucrative guaranteed retirement plan for employees hired after Jan. 1, 2017. That percentage was more than expected and, as a result, the projections for the years ahead have improved.Without the new tier, the system's funding was projected to steadily decline and eventually go bust.  Continue reading...

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