I have been a board member of the Firefighters Pension Fund for more than 20 years. Our mayor is recommending a $1 million raid on our pension fund per year. To reduce the dedicated funds for this plan is irresponsible.
The money for the pension fund has never been a part of the city’s budget. Those funds have been set aside to pay for firefighter pension and medical benefits since 1947. To report that the money is somehow coming from the city budget is incorrect. In the last almost 70 years, no mayor has raided our fund to pay for short-term budget fixes.
The 2013 Actuarial Accrued Liability report put the unfunded liability at $63,388,000. To increase that $63 million liability may affect the city’s bond rating. It is no different than the federal government taking money out of Social Security today and putting in IOUs for future generations to pay.
If the mayor is going to take firefighter pension funds, he should at least fully staff Fire Station 9’s engine company, as recommended by city leaders.