Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pension Bill Heads to Finance Committee; City Council's Rules Panel Defers Tuesday Discussion on Matter

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pension Bill Heads to Finance Committee; City Council's Rules Panel Defers Tuesday Discussion on Matter

Article excerpt

Byline: Christopher Hong

An agreement to reform Jacksonville's ailing pension system should be reviewed by a City Council committee Wednesday after another committee deferred its scheduled discussion for later this week.

Mayor Alvin Brown's latest version of pension reform must first pass through several committees - made up of the bill's most vocal opponents - before it can go to a vote by the full council.

The council Rules Committee rescheduled its review of the bill for Friday after other business consumed most of its time on Tuesday. The council Finance Committee plans to take up the bill Wednesday, said Chairman Richard Clark.

The deal, which would change benefits for police and firefighters and obligate the city to more aggressively pay off its $1.62 billion pension debt, reflects terms approved in January by the Police and Fire Pension Fund Board of Trustees.

Among the most significant changes made by the pension fund were potential increases to current employees' interest rates on their Deferred Retirement Option Program accounts and cost-of-living adjustments to their pensions, as well as extending the length of the agreement from 3 to 10 years. …

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