KC pension reform rolls ahead (just kidding)
The Kansas City Star
KC City Manager Troy Schulte was given a new deadline today - Dec. 13 - to bring a final pension reform plan to the City Council.
It was the latest extension is what has become a long, long, long effort to overhaul the unsustainable pension systems that cover thousands of Kansas City workers.
The big hang up in behind-the-scenes negotiations right now, Schulte reported to council member Jan Marcason’s finance committee, is how to handle cost of living increases for retirees.
In the future, the city would like to make sure they aren’t automatically set at 3 percent a year, as is now the requirement in city ordinances.
Taxpayers could save millions of dollars a year by lowering the COLAs in years when the city budget is tight, or in years when inflation is low.
But, understandably, the city’s unions don’t like that approach and are fighting the COLA change. They already are being looked at under pension reform to kick in higher percentages of their pay to keep the city’s retirement plans more financially solvent.
Marcason has done a good job up to now in keeping the pressure on Schulte, Finance Director Randy Landes and union representatives to bring the council a pension reform proposal.
Something needs to be done by the end of the year to reduce taxpayer support for current and future defined benefit pensions for city workers.
And those changes should help make sure those retirees will actually get the money they were promised by the city.