Jax Pension Reform Panel Ready To Hear Pew Proposals

Dec 5, 2013

The Jacksonville Retirement Reform Task Force will hear from the Pew Charitable Trust Thursday morning on pension reform proposals

The proposals include moving new city employees into a 401-k or what’s called a “cash-balance” hybrid program that uses elements of a 401-k and traditional pension plan.

Jacksonville Association of Firefighters President Randy Wyse said he has concerns about the Pew presentation. He said the numbers they were originally using were inaccurate and Pew is working to radically change municipal pension plans.

"The biggest issue is our contract between the pension fund and the city and their recommendation will live with inside the contract," he said. "Any changes to that contract needs to between the pension fund and the city and is something that's going to be viable for our members."

Task Force Chair Bill Scheu said Pew is presenting some alternatives. He said the task force, not Pew will, decide how pension reform moves forward.

"The task force will talk about them, try to narrow down what it wants to do, not what Pew wants to do and then Pew will take that back and do the analytical stuff and the first meeting in January we'll be a lot further along so we'll be narrowing our focus to what we want to agree on," Scheu said.

The Task Force will meet Thursday morning at 9a.m. in the Lynwood Roberts room at City Hall. Scheu says the task force should finalize its recommendations by late January.

You can follow Kevin Meerschaert on Twitter @KMeerschaertJax.