Dallas went through some contentious pension problems. Now, it's happening to Fort Worth.
The legislature imposed a fix for Dallas. Fort Worth is trying to avoid that at all costs.
Fort Worth and its employees, particularly police and firefighters, have sounded the alarm on its pension plan problems for years.
Time is running out to fix the city’s $3 billion shortfall.
"We do have a system that has had a five-year actual loss,” said Fort Worth Councilmember Cary Moon. “There are some serious considerations there that we have to look at on how we correct that."
"We just believe there needs to be some joint funding,” said Fort Worth Firefighters Association President Michael Glynn. “Employees putting more money in, but the city putting more money in as well."
Glynn is also a member of the city manager's pension task force. The proposed fixes include increasing the minimum retirement age by a couple of years for police and firefighters, changing how accumulated sick time is counted and reducing or eliminating cost of living adjustments.
“There will be a combination of changes to these different variables that can be an overall fix for our employees,” Moon said.
Losing cost of living adjustments is the big thing workers won't live without.
“They decide to leave at their rate of pay knowing they had a COLA coming to them,” Glynn said. “And the city is wanting to go back on that promise."
It would include current employees when they're ready to retire.
"We don't want that either. That could be devastating to our futures and what we have to live with,” Glynn said. “But we are trying to negotiate and work out a deal with the city so we can put more money in and the city puts more money in and find a way to try to maintain our benefits."
Fort Worth wants a plan in place later this year before the legislature meets next year when it could impose its own rules on how Fort Worth will fix its pension plan.