Ducey signs legislation to reform police, firefighter pension plans

Ducey has signed legislation that could bring major reform to the current pension plan.   morguefile.com

Earlier this week, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation supporting the preservation of the state’s pension system for police and firefighters, decreasing the fiscal burden on public employers and bringing wanted predictability to diligent, tax-paying citizens.

If vital features of the bipartisan bill are approved by voters, it will be put on the ballot May 17.

The proposed pension reform would make changes to the current Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, which is viewed as putting a strain on finances and also being unmaintainable for members and taxpayers alike.

The main alterations, which only affect newly hired employees, consist of the following. New hires would be required to remain in service until they turn 55, at which point they would be eligible for full pension benefits. This would cut costs for states and cities. Also, a hard pension benefit cap would be put in place to cut down on “pension spiking.”

Furthermore, the cost of pensions would be split evenly between employers and new employees; new employees would have the option for a 100 percent contribution plan; and cost-of-living adjustments for retired workers would be linked to the Consumer Price Index.

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