April 21, 2011

City plans to tap pension excess

In the coming fiscal year, West Hartford plans to pump $11.7 million into accounts established to pay the pension costs of its municipal retirees.
That’s pretty typical for Connecticut cities and towns the size of Bristol.
But Bristol taxpayers don’t have to put a penny into pension trust funds this year – and haven’t for more than a decade.
The city is perhaps the only one in America that has so much money socked away in its pension trust funds that it can shift some if it into related trusts aimed at paying retirees’ health care costs, experts said. Click here for the full story.

With city pension trust funds at new heights – just a few dollars short of $600 million – officials are ready to resolve a longstanding controversy and tap into excess cash to cover costs for retiree health care.
That’s about $200 million more than experts say the city needs to pay off its anticipated obligation to current and future retirees.
City councilors said this week they want to shift some of that extra money – from accounts designated for police and fire retirees – into another trust fund to pay for health care for retired police and firefighters.
“It’s going to help the city,” said city Councilor David Mills, a first-term Republican.
The comptroller’s office estimates the move would save taxpayers $1.1 million in the fiscal year that begins July 1. Click here for the full story. [Please note that city Councilor Kevin Fuller told me this morning he is not necessarily going to vote to do this.]

Here is a PDF of city Comptroller Glenn Klocko's presentation about this issue a couple of years ago.

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

1 comment:

Tim Gamache said...

I'm not sure if the Council has the authority to move pension funds without approval of the pensioners.I know if it were my pension fund,I certainly would want SOME say as to wether funds can or can not be moved.Certainly the Fund Trustees should be part of the discussion at least.