Dallas Police and Fire Pension on path to financial stability

The Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund, which 10,000 police and firefighters depend on, is set to be fully funded by the year 2061.

While that is a long time from now, it is a huge change of course. Just nine months ago, fears about changes to retiree benefits fueled a run in the troubled pension fund that caused it to hemorrhage $300 million in just six weeks.

Now, under new legislation that requires sacrifices from police and fire, retirees and taxpayers, the sinking ship is beginning to be righted.

However, retirees who did not take out their money during the run are frustrated that they will never be allowed to freely access it.

"This is money they've already paid me," retired Dallas Police Sergeant James Freeman said. "Pension was going to help invest it for me. Now, suddenly, no it's not your money, it's our money."

"I'm guilty of one thing," retired Dallas Police Lieutenant Joe Dunn said. "I trusted my own people and they stabbed me in the back."

One sign that police and firefighters do not like the new plan is that there are already 40 retirements scheduled for August. The executive director of the pension fund says that the large number of retirements could be due to workers not wanting to pay the increased contributions to the pension.

There will be no difference in benefits between those who do retire before or after the law goes into effect in September.

A new board made up of six members appointed by the mayor and five members selected by pension members will be chosen in the coming months.

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