Fort Worth votes to reduce pension benefits - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Fort Worth votes to reduce pension benefits

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FORT WORTH, Texas -

The union representing Fort Worth police officers plans to sue the city over changes to their pension plan.

On Tuesday the city council voted to change the pension rules for all current employees and new hires by removing overtime from pension calculations and using five, instead of three, years for a salary average.

The goal is to close to eliminate an unfunded pension liability, which is currently at nearly $750 million and could grow to $2 billion in the next 30 years.

But employees argue that means they'll have to work longer because of the changes. For example, those who planned on a 30-year career with the city would have to work as many as 35 years to earn the same amount of retirement benefits.

The council vote was unanimous, with Councilman Kelly Allen Gray abstaining because she's married to a Fort Worth police officer.

The union said it plans to sue because the council action violates the Texas constitution, which prohibits reductions in vested benefits.

The changes do not apply to firefighters, who are in the process of negotiating a new contract.

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