Vote No To Pension Cuts For Older Widows And Retirees

Friday, February 21, 2014

To City Councilmembers, 

On Tuesday you will be casting a vote to change our pension. I am a retired captain in the CFD and my COLA will be reduced from 3 percent to 1.5 percent.  I can live with this, but I don't have to like it and I don't like it.   

What I am asking each of you to look at is the COLA reduction for the older widows and the older firefighters and police officers. This is the group of people that the task force dropped the ball on. The changes do increase the minimum widow's pension to $756, but it reduces their COLA from 3 percent to 2 percent. Nothing was done about the older retirees, some making less than $1,300 per month with no Social Security benefits. They are also having their COLA reduced. This group of people are in their later stage of life, mid 70's and older.

I am pleading to you to not vote to take their 3 percent away. They need this in the worse way. Like I said earlier, I can live with my COLA reduction, but this group of people need to have their 3 percent COLA saved. I challenge each of you to try and attempt to live on $756 - $1,300 per month. This group is a small number and should not add a lot to the unfunded liability of the fund. Please show compassion for this group, because the mayor's task force and the Fire and Police Pension Board failed at this, and vote to not reduce their COLA.

Bill Melhorn
CFD Capt. Ret.

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