Local News

Sep 17, 2013 7:12 PM by Caroline Flores - cflores@kristv.com

City Pension Plan Costing Taxpayers Millions

CORPUS CHRISTI - Millions of your tax dollars go into retirement programs for city workers every year. To be exact the city says $18 million go to city employee retirement benefits every year.

City employees get a 2 to 1 pension plan. Meaning with every dollar city employees put into their retirement account, the city will put in two and all that money comes from your pocket.

"I can't stand or sit and say that that's not a lot of money... It really is," said Assistant City Manager Margie Rose.

A lot of money that tax payers are paying so that every full time city employee can have a nice retirement plan. When I asked if there was a cheaper plan the city could be using Rose said, "there are always cheaper options."

But she tells me getting to those options aren't that simple. They city says the Texas Pension review board would have to get involved.

But the main issue is they can't change anything until 2015 because the police department is under contract to keep their 2-1 pension plan until then. This is important because under state law if one department of local government gets a certain benefit... Then, every department has to get the same benefits.

So I visited with the Corpus Christi Police Officer's Association president. I asked him if the union would ever consider going to a cheaper pension plan so you at home don't have to give so much of your paycheck to pay for their retirement.

"I'll tell you the same thing we told the city at the time. We're willing to look at anything. Where it takes us from there is yet to be determined. But we'll look at anything," said union president Scott Leeton.

The city brought up the pension issue to the police union in 2010. It's an issue some council member are still concerned about.

"In my business, we don't get 2 to 1 matches... Most people in my industry don't get 2 to 1 matches," said council member Mark Scott.

But the city says more than 800 cities in Texas use the same retirement plan.

Councilman Scott told me that the 2 to 1 pension plan will come up in contract negations with the Police Officers Association in 2015.

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