Dallas Police & Fire Pension Board Deciding On Account Changes

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – After a closed-door session, members of the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Board are holding a public meeting, where hundreds of people who will be affected are watching trustees weigh in on their future retirement.

The board was in executive session for most of the morning and came out just after 10 a.m. to go over the items proposed.

Early last month the board voted to freeze the Deferred Retirement Option Program or (DROP). Three weeks later the board voted to allow some officers and firefighters to resume withdrawals.

The fund was undermined in recent years by overvalued investments and risky real estate deals, as well as generous DROP benefits.

Today’s meeting is tackling proposals for those DROP accounts. A major issue is the fixed rate interest on the accounts – something city officials have said will quickly cause the pension fund to fail.

The City has paid its full obligation into the pension fund, but its liabilities are much more than its assets.

DROP was started back in 1992 to keep experienced officers on the force, despite the departments paying lower wages. But without change, a study says the fund will be insolvent in about 10 years.

“It’s terrible. It’s terrible for all of these families, for all of these officers that have dedicated their lives,” said retired DPD Senior Corporal Brian Dagelewicz. “Many officers been injured, they’re on pensions, now they have to worry about what’s going to take place in the future. They don’t know where their money is going to come from.”

As of 11 a.m. the board was going over different distribution ideas for how much money retirees can take out of their DROP accounts each month, going forward.

The board will listen to comments and take questions from the crowd, then vote on their plans.

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