Chattanooga firefighters and police officers balk at latest pension proposal

Chattanooga firefighters and police officers balk at latest pension proposal

December 19th, 2013 by Joy Lukachick Smith in Local - Breaking News

The fire and police pension board hold a board meeting days after Police Chief Bobby Dodd and his command staff stated that they will retire. There has been a significant increase in the number of public service employees retiring this year.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

During today's Fire and Police Pension Board meeting, firefighters and officers balked at the latest round of cuts Mayor Andy Berke's task force is considering.

Fire Capt. David Brooks, who is on the task force, presented a piece of paper that detailed possible cuts to the audience of firefighters and officers. The news prompted loud comments and employees snapping photos of the plan on their cellphones.

Details of the proposal include:

• New hires wouldn't be eligible to retire until age 58; currently there is no age requirement.

• All employees would see their pension contributions increase from 8 percent to 13 percent. Several officers and firefighters called this a drastic pay cut.

Brooks said this was the latest scenario that members of the task force were handed on Tuesday.

The task force has been commissioned by Berke to find a way to address $150 million in unfunded liability to the pension fund. This week, Berke extended the deadline to reach a consensus to Jan. 31.

Read tomorrow's Times Free Press for complete details.