Dallas Police-Fire pension fix bill filed in Texas House

A Texas lawmaker filed a bill Tuesday to fix the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund.

The fund is headed for bankruptcy unless necessary changes are made, but those changes proposed in the bill are not likely to be popular with the rank and file.

"It's one of the issues that affects the whole state of Texas,” said State Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Canton). “If something happens to one of our huge cities and their pension plans it will affect the State of Texas. We're not going to allow that to happen."

HB 3158 would create a smaller 10 member pension board. Instead of police, firefighters and councilmembers, the trustees would be financial experts -- like CEO's or CFO's of Dallas companies. Only two members would be either active or retired first responders.

“We're talking about huge amounts of money. To have someone who happens to be on the board because they’re a fireman police officer or happen to be elected to city council -- that hasn't proven to be the best way to have a solvent fund,” Flynn said.

Other big changes include raising the retirement age from 55 to 58, no more lump sum payouts and freezing cost of living increases.

"We don't want to have to worry about a plan going broke, and that is what will happen if we don't do anything, and the pensioners won't get their money,” Flynn said.

Other details would be ironed out by the new board.

The first hearing on the bill will be later in March. Flynn said he expects the bill will pass.