Why Can’t Coral Gables Cut Pensions: FL Cities are Cutting Pensions Now

Please read what other cities are doing.  Coral Gables employees, including police and firefighters should accept big cuts now.

Once they were considered a sacred perk for public sector employees.

But pensions have morphed into an albatross for many municipalities, compounded by shrinking tax revenues, investment losses and longer life spans.

Recent money-saving measures range from Sunrise raising the retirement age from 58 to 62 for new general employees to Hollywood requiring greater pension contributions (9 percent, up from 7) from their general employees. Other cities, including Pembroke Pines, Fort Lauderdale and possibly Hallandale Beach, are shifting new hires to 401(k)-type plans, which are subject to fluctuations in the market.

Municipalities with the largest payrolls are beset with heavy pension shortfalls. They include Fort Lauderdale ($306.8 million shortfall), Hollywood ($353.3 million) and Pembroke Pines ($201.4 million) in Broward County and Delray Beach ($51 million) and West Palm Beach ($90 million) in Palm Beach County.

Retirement contributions for Fort Lauderdale firefighters and police, for example, will rise from 8 to 8.25 percent of their base pay in October 2011. New hires already contribute 8.5 percent.

In Pembroke Pines, general employees hired after July 1 will shift to a 401(k)-type plan… New officers and firefighters hired after May 1 won’t receive longevity pay, while current employees will have their longevity pay frozen at the current rate.

via South Florida cities begin slashing pension costs – Sun Sentinel.

About Stephen E. McGaughey
Resident of the City of Coral Gables

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