Changes to the future pensions for the city’s active employees have been part of the bankruptcy restructuring and were detailed in the Plan of Adjustment. Employees also have learned about them through information included with the ballots they’ll return as they vote on the city’s Plan of Adjustment as part of the bankruptcy proceedings.
Now they’ll get a chance to voice their concerns about the changes at public hearing scheduled for 10 a.m., Tuesday, June 24 at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center. Per the state’s emergency manager law, the new plan requires an ordinance change, which is why the public hearing is necessary.
Terms of the new plan maintain parts of a defined benefit system but also require a contribution from current employees, which will be deducted from their salaries beginning July 14. For police and firefighters, the contribution will be 6 percent of their weekly pre-tax base salary, while non-uniform employees in the General Retirement System will contribute 4 percent. For employees hired after June 30, the contributions will be 8 percent.
“The City also will contribute a match amount to the respective new funds for each employee who participates,” Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr said in a statement.
The pension restructuring was part of the negotiations between the city, the Official Committee of Retirees and the unions. “The City and its Labor partners have come up with what we think is the best option to strengthen employee pensions so we can continue to meet future obligations in a financial responsible and sustainable manner,” Orr said.
Orr’s spokesman, Bill Nowling, says the city is holding three forums for employees and briefing directors. In addition, Orr sent an email to employees outlining the changes and various bargaining units also are informing their members.
-By WDET’s Sandra Svoboda
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