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Jacksonville mayor proposes ending pensions for new hires

By   /   November 2, 2016  /   No Comments

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry wants to end pensions for new general employee hires in the city.

Curry revealed the plan Tuesday in a collective bargaining session with the Jacksonville Supervisors Association, the Florida New-Times reports.

“Guaranteed pensions are not what a majority of the people of Jacksonville have,” according to the mayor.  “Legacy plans are not sustainable, and frankly they are dinosaurs.”

Jacksonville currently has $2.85 billion in pension debt.

In an Aug. 30 referendum, 65 percent of Duval County voters approved a new sales tax to pay down the debt.  Under the state law authorizing the referendum, the city must close one of its three existing pension programs — for police and firefighters, for general employees, or for corrections officers — to new hires before it can collect the new tax. The law also requires employees to increase their personal contribution to their pension from 8 percent to 10 percent of pay.

The law does not bar the creation of a different pension system for new hires as an option alongside the investment plan.

Under the current General Employee Pension Plan, city employees have the choice of either a defined benefit pension plan or an individual investment account.  They do not receive Social Security.  

Read more here.

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Erin Clark is a Florida reporter for Watchdog.org. A graduate of the University of Richmond, Clark competed on the professional tennis circuit for several years before returning to writing. Her work has been republished in national and state publications, including the Apopka Voice, Bradenton Herald, Saint Peters Blog, Florida Politics, Sunshine State News, and Townhall. Erin is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Florida Press Association.