Nearly two thirds of Fort Worth police officers voted in favor of increasing their contributions to retain their retirement benefits formula, throwing it in the city’s hands to decide whether they want negotiate that as part of the Fort Worth Police Officers Association’s contract.
Sixty six percent – 1,041 - of eligible officers voted. And of those, 1,021 voted in favor of increasing their contributions, according to results canvassed Tuesday by the Fort Worth Employees’ Retirement Fund. The association needed a majority of the eligible officers to send the vote to the city.
The City Council can accept or reject the results. Under the police association’s ballot language, if the council accepts, the issue would be settled in ongoing negotiations on a new police contract.
“We remain committed to addressing the pension challenges,” Mayor Betsy Price said in an interview after the vote results were disclosed. “We do agree the pension’s got to be affordable and sustainable.”
The city actuary has not offered an opinion on the impact of the police association’s proposal on the financial health of the retirement fund, or whether it would help reduce the unfunded liability, Price said.
Sgt. Steve Hall, president of the police association, said the association’s actuarial estimates showed the association’s proposal would reduce the unfunded liability because of the extra money coming in from police contributions.
- Scott Nishimura, Star-Telegram Fort Worth City Hall reporter