Dallas First Responders Gather at Capitol to Fight for Pension Resolution

AUSTIN -- Current and former Dallas police and firefighters asked lawmakers on Tuesday to end their "financial and emotion distress" and protect their retirement benefits. The Dallas Police and Fire Pension System is due to run out of money in the next decade unless a fix is approved by the Legislature."We are being positive, we are hoping that we can work out something that we will all be happy with," said Bill Ingram, a retired fireman who worked in Dallas for 34 years. "We think that everybody is going to feel the pinch, and we're willing to do our part."Williams joined other first responders on the steps of the Capitol to present their joint resolution to lawmakers Tuesday morning. Texas House Pensions Committee Chairman Dan Flynn, R-Canton, gave a preview of his plan to save the failing pension system on Monday, although no bills have been filed. Flynn's approach would scale back future benefit payments, increase the retirement age and instead of paying out lump sums to retirees who accrued them, the plan proposes to dole out the money as annuities for the retiree's life. Pension board trustees unanimously approved the plan, although many expressed reservations. "I believe it's a start," said Larry Williams, a retired fireman who worked in Dallas for 40 years. "I think Flynn is on the right track. He seems to be on the side of compromise and the side of solving the problem, and we're very glad about that."  Continue reading...

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