Cincinnati Council takes up pension charter amendment Tuesday

Sep 2, 2013

A Cincinnati Council Committee will likely vote Tuesday to place a charter amendment on the November ballot that would change the city's retirement.  

The committee doesn't have a choice since the group behind the effort collected enough valid signatures to get the issue before voters.  

Last month 8 of the 9 city council members voted in favor of a resolution opposing this charter amendment.  The resolution stated the plan “would severely threaten the retirement security of the city's workers, because it doesn't take into consideration the 2011 pension changes, and it shortens the timetable for the city to address the system's unfunded liability.”  

Cincinnati's unfunded pension liability grew by $133-million last year.  Moody's Investors Service recently downgraded the city's bond rating, citing the city's retirement system as one of its reasons.  

Among the changes proposed by the ballot initiative is placing city employees hired after January next year in a defined contribution plan, similar to the 401-K plans used in the private sector.  

A group calling itself the "Cincinnati for Pension Reform Committee" collected the petition signatures.  

The group's Burr Robinson has said the problem only gets worse the longer the city sticks with the current system.