Mayor Chris Beutler and City Councilman Trent Fellers today announced the formation of a committee to review the Police-Fire Pension Fund. Mayor Beutler said the committee will thoroughly examine the pension's continued sustainability in order to protect the interests of the public safety personnel who depend on the pension and the taxpayers who contribute to the fund.
"Police Officers and Firefighters are the backbone of our public safety system, and they deserve a pension that gives them a fair and adequate income during their retirement years," Mayor Beutler said. "The national recession and stock market crash of 2008 created a deficit in the plan's funding. It is a deficit that requires an increasing annual payment from the City. When I took office in 2007, the actuary that reviews our plan recommended a payment of $4 million. Last year that amount was $8.4 million. This year the amount is over $9 million. And with the recent market activity, we can assume that annual funding obligation will continue to rise."
Fellers suggested to the Mayor that the City form a committee of people with expertise in pensions. "It's clear now is the time for a serious policy discussion on how to move forward with our Police and Fire pension plan," Fellers said. "I want to thank the Mayor for forming the committee to address the issues with the plan and the committee members for their service."
The committee will be chaired by Richard Evnen, the former CEO of Lincoln Poultry who is active on many local boards. Other members include:
"We are extremely fortunate to have such a talented group of people who are willing to lend their expertise and recommend potential courses of action," Beutler said. "I am confident that with the guidance of the pension review committee, we can find the right solutions and create a consensus that will allow us to make progress on a financial issue that is important to Lincoln's future."