Fire And Police Retirements Running Over Double The Normal Rate; Bobby Dodd Is Leaving Well Short Of Full DROP; Pension Task Force Extended

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

With anxiety running high about proposed cuts to the Chattanooga Fire and Police Pension plan, over twice the number of senior officers have already submitted retirement papers this year.

Frank Hamilton, fund administrator, said 41 retirements are already in the books with a couple of weeks to go. The average for a year is 20.

He said, "People are nervous. There is a lot of uncertainty about the future of the pension. We have tried to reassure everyone that they should at least wait to see the final report of the pension study group. But some people just want to go ahead and go."

Among those going are Police Chief Bobby Dodd and all but one of his command staff.

Mr. Hamilton said Chief Dodd only reached the 25-year retirement mark in July. He is going out several years ahead of the 28-year mark where retirees can receive a full "DROP" lump sum payment.

He said Chief Dodd "gave up quite a bit to leave now."

Mr. Hamilton said Deputy Chief Tommy Kennedy has the 28 years, but had been expected to go for the full 30.

He said others in the top command, including Kirk Eidson and Jeannie Snyder, also were short of the 28 years for the full DROP.

Mr. Hamilton said of the 41 who have retired, 17 did so before making it to 28 years.

He said another 51 senior fire and police officers have 25 or more years of service and are eligible to retire. He said all but two of those are short of the 28 years.

Meanwhile, Berke officials said Tuesday that the Pension Task Force is extending its time to complete its proposal. 

Click here to read the letter requesting for an extension.


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