Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke today accepted a consensus recommendation from the Pension Task Force for reforms to the Fire & Police Pension Fund, pending review by the city's actuary and legal counsel, a city news release states.
The recommendation does not decrease monthly pension checks for retirees. Based on initial estimates, the Pension Task Force believes their recommendations will save taxpayers approximately $4 to $5 million annually and will ensure the fund is financially healthy for retirees in coming years, the news release states.
"I have reviewed the recommendation, and I am confident this is a strong set of benefits that will reach our shared goals for the Fire & Police Pension Fund," Berke said in the release.
The reforms include:
-- 100% benefits for public safety employees killed in the line of duty (31.25% increase);
-- An increase in benefits payable to elderly widows of public safety employees, currently received only $500 per month;
-- Sustained, yet cost-neutral, DROP benefit;
-- Temporary reconfiguration of the COLA structure so that those employees who receive the lowest pension benefits receive a higher COLA; and
-- Increased employee contributions phased in gradually over the next three years.
Read more in tomorrow's Times Free Press/