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Pension Reform Primer Florida Government Finance Officers Association June 24, 2013 James W. Linn.

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Presentation on theme: "Pension Reform Primer Florida Government Finance Officers Association June 24, 2013 James W. Linn."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pension Reform Primer Florida Government Finance Officers Association June 24, 2013 James W. Linn

2 Big Picture Florida cities are facing extreme challenges of : - declining revenues and - increasing costs One of the largest and fastest growing costs facing many cities is the cost of employee pension plans. This year pension contributions for many cities will be 30%, 40%, even 50% of payroll (or more). 2

3 Some Numbers 492 Local Government Defined Benefit Pension Plans in Florida 111,267 Active Participants 78,975 Inactive Participants (retirees and terminated vested) Approximately $24 billion in plan assets as of 9/30/2012 (but liabilities = nearly $30 billion) 300 plans (61%) are funded at or below 80% 187 plans (39%) are funded above 80% 3

4 Defined Benefit Plan Benefits are based on a formula: Avg. Final Compensation X Years of Service X Multiplier 4

5 Defined Benefit Plan Typical benefit calculation: $75,000 Avg. Final Comp. X 30 Years of Service X 3% Multiplier = lifetime benefit of $67,500 per year 5

6 Benefit Example # 1 Fire Driver Engineer – age 54 with 22 yrs 10 mos. service Avg. Final Compensation = $71,500/yr. ($5,958/mo.) Normal Pension Benefit = $65,294/yr. ($5,441/mo.) Plus 3% Annual Cost of Living Adjustment 401K Value at Retirement: $ 1,587,712 6

7 Benefit Example # 2 Fire Driver Engineer – age 49 with 25 years service Avg. Final Compensation = $60,432/yr. ($5,036/mo.) Normal Pension Benefit = $60,432/yr. ($5036/mo.) Plus 3% Annual Cost of Living Adjustment 401K Value at Retirement: $ 1,669,010 7

8 Benefit Example # 3 Police Officer – age 47 with 25 years service Avg. Final Compensation = 126,690/yr * ($10,557/mo.) Pension Benefit = $ 95,017 per year for life Plus DROP Benefit = $239,946 lump sum Plus “Share Plan” Benefit = $45, K Plan Equivalent Value = $2,289,946 * Avg. Final Comp without overtime and other add-ons: $76,166 8

9 Benefit Example # 3 Police Lieutenant – age 49 with 25 years service Avg. Final Compensation = 134,141/yr*($11,177/mo.) Pension Benefit = $ 100,606/year for life Plus DROP Benefit = $544,468 lump sum Plus “Share Plan” Benefit = $22, K Plan Equivalent Value = $2,632,926 * Avg. Final Comp without overtime and other add-ons: $76,669 9

10 Pension Funding Law State law requires that defined benefit pension plans be funded on a “sound actuarial basis” This means the cost of current benefits cannot be shifted to future taxpayers. City is ultimately responsible for paying current pension costs (“normal cost”) plus amortizing unfunded liabilities over period of not more than 30 years. City bears the risk of pension fund investment losses. 10

11 Pension Cost Components 1. Normal Cost – ongoing cost of benefits, with no UAAL (unfunded actuarial accrued liability) 2. UAAL Amortization Payment to cover past:  Actuarial losses  Plan improvements  Changes in actuarial assumptions & methods 11

12 Pension Cost Components In many cities the UAAL amortization payment exceeds the normal cost of the plan: Normal Cost UAAL Amort. Total Cost 16%28.5%44.5% 12

13 13 Pension Cost Breakdown Example Normal Cost: $ 4.47 million (16.0% of payroll) Amortization: $ 7.96 million (28.5% of payroll) Total Required: $12.4 million (44.5% of payroll) Members Pay: -$ 1.4 million ( 5% of payroll) Net City Cost: $11 million (39.5% of payroll) [Annual City cost per employee = $ 25,166]

14 Pension Legacy Cost - The UAAL Issue Why have unfunded liabilities grown even in years of good investment performance? Because actuarial losses have exceeded investment gains. Many plans have had consistent actuarial losses in recent years. Actuarial losses occur when actual experience does not meet assumptions in areas such as:  investment earnings  salary increases / payroll growth  mortality  turnover  retirement rates 14

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16 5 Year Smoothing - Example Assumed rate of return = 7.5% Actual return = minus 12.47% Actuarial loss = minus 19.97% [(minus 7.5%) + (minus 12.47%)] = minus 19.97% 19.97/5 = 3.99 Minus 3.99% will be recognized each year for the next 5 years Result: Employer contributions will likely increase unless actual return exceeds 11.49% (7.5% %) 16

17 Pension Reform Legal Guidelines Changes in retirement benefits and employee contributions are mandatory subjects of collective bargaining. Accrued pension benefits (benefits earned in the past) cannot be reduced or taken away. Future benefits can be reduced for current employees who have not reached retirement status. City is ultimately responsible for unfunded pension liabilities, even if current plan is terminated or frozen, or all employees are laid off or transferred to another employer. 17

18 Ch. 175/185 Premium Taxes Chapters 175 & 185, F.S. provide for a rebate of the state excise tax on property and casualty insurance premiums to cities that have firefighter and police pension plans. Premium taxes are paid by City taxpayers. The premium tax monies must be used exclusively for fire and police pensions, and the local pension plan must comply with the requirements of Chapters 175 &

19 Ch. 175 Premium Taxes Old Interpretation “Excess” premium tax monies can only be used for new “extra benefits.” If benefits are reduced below 1999 level, City loses eligibility for future premium taxes. Premium tax money that can be used for extra benefits is first year dollar cost. As payroll grows, cost of extra benefits shifts to City. 19

20 Ch. 175 Premium Taxes New “Naples” Interpretation City eligible for future premium tax revenues as long as Ch. 175 minimum benefits are met (can be less than 1999 benefits). If cost of Ch. 175 minimum benefits is more than “additional” premium taxes (i.e., taxes above the 1998 amount), all premium tax revenues may be used to reduce the City’s required contributions. City and union can negotiate use of “excess” premium tax monies. 20

21 2013 Retirement Legislation Passed: SB 534 – Public Pension Plan Disclosure HB 1810 – FRS Contribution Rates Did Not Pass: SB 458 / HB 1399 – Police & Firefighter Pension Plans HB 7011 – Florida Retirement System 21

22 2013 Legislation SB 534 – Public Retirement Plan Disclosure – passed. Creates new reporting requirements for local government defined benefit pension plans. Long-term funded ratio of the plan calculated in compliance with GASB 67 and 68, including the market value of plan assets, the value of the plan’s actuarial liabilities, and the amount of any unfunded accrued liability; Dollar value of any unfunded accrued liability; Number of months or years for which the current market value of assets are adequate to sustain the payment of expected retirement benefits; and 22

23 2013 Legislation SB 534 (cont.) Recommended contributions to the plan stated as an annual dollar value and a percentage of valuation payroll, using actuarial assumptions and cost methods specified in the legislation: – Entry Age Normal actuarial cost method. – Assumed rate of return two percent less than the plan’s assumed rate of return. – RP-2000 Mortality Tables – Asset valuation method -- market value less the value of DROP accounts; – Actuarial accrued liabilities, excluding the value of DROP accounts; and – All other assumptions and methods used by the local plan in its latest valuation. 23

24 2013 Legislation SB 534 (cont.) Plan sponsor must publish the required information, on any website that contains budget or actuarial information relating to the plan. Local government plans also must provide the information on any municipal website when tentative budgets are published. Required information for reporting purposes only – not for determining plan funding requirements. 24

25 2013 Legislation HB FRS Employer Contribution Rates Effective 7/1/13 -- passed: Regular Class – 7.0% (was 5.18%) Special Risk: 19.11% (was 14.9%) Senior Mgt – 18.36% (was 6.49%) Local Elected Officers – 33.08% (was 10.23%) DROP – 11.64% (was 4.33%) 25

26 2013 Legislation SB 458 / HB 1399 – Police & Firefighter Pension Plans – did not pass Would have revised rules on use of Ch. 175/185 premium tax revenues Would have required a greater portion of premium taxes to be used for enhanced benefits for police officers and firefighters 26

27 2013 Legislation HB 7011 – Florida Retirement System – did not pass would have closed FRS defined benefit pension plan to new members, and required all new hires to participate in defined contribution plan passed House; defeated in Senate on vote 27

28 What Are the Options to Reduce City Pension Costs? No “silver bullet” Keep current City pension plans, but:  Reduce benefits, and/or  Increase employee contributions Terminate, freeze or close exiting pension plans, and set up lower cost plans 28

29 Pension Reform Options Join FRS Set up Defined Contribution (DC) plan Reduce Benefits for New Hires Reduce Benefits for All Employees Hybrid Plan Increase Employee Contributions and/or Cost-Sharing 29

30 Key Concepts “Close” – existing plan closed to new members; current members stay in existing plan until they retire or leave the city; future employees join new plan. “Freeze” - accrued benefits of current employees in existing plan “frozen” and paid out at retirement; all current and future employees join new plan. “Terminate” – existing plan liquidated; accrued benefits paid out to plan members; City responsible for any deficit; all current and future employees join new plan. 30

31 Join FRS for New Hires Advantages Reduced cost over time (FRS rates are going up) Standardized FRS benefits 3% employee contribution Portability – easier for City to attract employees from other FRS agencies Gets City out of pension business (eventually) Disadvantages No immediate savings -- may take many years to achieve cost savings; City still must pay off current plan liabilities Lose premium tax revenues immediately Portability – City employees can move to another FRS employer and take their pension with them State legislature sets benefits and contributions 31

32 Join FRS for All Employees Advantages Reduced city cost in shorter time (but FRS rates are going up) Standardized FRS benefits 3% employee contribution Portability – easier for City to attract employees from other FRS agencies Gets City out of pension business (eventually) Disadvantages Current City pension plans must be terminated or frozen City still must pay off current plan liabilities Lose premium tax revenues immediately Portability – City employees can move to another FRS employer and take their pension with them State legislature sets benefits and contributions 32

33 Reduce Benefits for New Hires (2 Tier Plan) Advantages Reduced cost over time Current employees keep current benefits Can be designed to keep premium tax Disadvantages No immediate savings -- may take many years to achieve cost savings Creates lower level of benefits for new hires New hires can be expected to press for greater benefits City stays in pension business 33

34 Reduce Future Benefits for All Employees Advantages Immediate cost savings Reduces UAAL Same benefits for all employees going forward Can be designed to keep premium tax Disadvantages Reduces future benefits for current employees (employees keep what they have already earned) City stays in pension business 34

35 Defined Contribution Plan Advantages Predictable employer costs City does not bear investment risk Appeals to younger, mobile employees Portability – DC account balance may be “rolled over” to an IRA or other retirement plan Lower admin. Costs No actuarial liabilities Disadvantages Employees bear investment risk Possible that DC benefits will run out while employee is still alive No inflation protection (COLA) Portability – employees can easily move to another employer and take their DC balance with them Loss of premium tax revenues 35

36 Hybrid Plan DB plan plus separate DC plan  DB plan provides guaranteed “base” benefit (eg. 1.25%)  DC plan reduces risk and cost to City DB plan plus DC plan – variable DC contribution  If DB cost goes up, city contribution to DC plan goes down “Variable Annuity” DB Plan  If DB cost goes up, DB benefit goes down (eg. multiplier reduced from 2% to 1%) Hybrid plan results in sharing of risk and cost between the City and employees 36

37 Increase Employee Contributions or Cost - Sharing One percent increase in employee contribution = one percent reduction in City contribution Legal issue: Ch. 175/185 says employee contributions can be increased only if union agrees (but equivalent pay reduction can be imposed). Cost sharing: if City contribution goes up, employees pay one-half of increase 37

38 2011 Florida Retirement System Changes Changes for current members: 3% employee contribution eff. 7/1/11 (was zero) No COLA for service after 7/1/11 (was 3%) Changes for new hires: Delayed normal retirement age  Regular: age 65 or 33 years service (was age 62 or 30 years serv.)  Special Risk: age 60 or 30 years service (was age 55 or 25 yrs serv.) Average final compensation: highest 8 years (was high 5) 8 year vesting period* (was 6 years) DROP interest = 1.3% for members who enter DROP after 7/1/11 (was 6.5%) 38

39 Pension Reform: What Florida Cities Have Done Ft. Lauderdale (2007) - General Closed general employee defined benefit pension plan Set up defined contribution plan for new hires 36 Florida cities have replaced defined benefit pension plans with defined contribution plans 39

40 Pension Reform: What Florida Cities Have Done Miami Beach (2010) – All Employees Wage freeze Pension changes for current employees:  Increased employee pension and health plan contributions by 2%  5 year final averaging period (phased in)  Reduced pension benefits for new hires 40

41 Pension Reform: What Florida Cities Have Done Delray Beach (2010) – General Employees Final average comp period extended from 2 to 5 years Normal retirement date delayed to age 62 (was 60) Employee contributions increased from 2.5% to 3.05% Standard benefit changed to single life annuity (was 60% joint & survivor annuity) Line of duty disability benefit reduced from 75% to 60% 41

42 Pension Reform: What Florida Cities Have Done Miami (2010) – Pension Changes (All Employees)* [Financial urgency declared – City Commission adopted wage and benefit reductions 8/31/10]: Later normal retirement age (to “Rule of 70” with min. age 50 from Rule of 64/68) 5 year average final compensation (was highest year) Reduce benefit formula for future service (to 3% from 3.5% after 15 yrs) Normal form of benefit: life and 10 years certain (PF); life annuity (General) $100,000 cap on benefits * litigation pending 42

43 Pension Reform: What Florida Cities Have Done Palm Bay (2011) – Fire 3 year wage freeze Reduction in pension benefits for current employees:  Reduction in supplemental benefit (from $25 to $12 per month per year of future service) Reduction in pension benefits for future employees:  Reduced multiplier - 3.2% after 20 yrs (was 5% after 20 yrs)  2% COLA deferred 6 yrs (was 3%)  Line of duty disability benefit - 66% (was 75%)  Stop/Restart – increased premium tax “frozen amt. from $437K to $825K (can be used each year to offset City contribution); also one-time transfer of $825K excess premium tax reserve to reduce city contribution 43

44 Pension Reform: What Florida Cities Have Done Coral Gables (2011) – General [Settlement approved by union members and City Commission in July 2011] Pension benefits frozen; reduced benefits for future service Pension changes for current and future employees:  Reduced multiplier for future service (from 3.0 % to 2.25%)  Increase employee pension contribution by 5% (to 10%)  5 year final averaging period (phased in from 3 year average)  Delay retirement age to age 65 or Rule of 85 (from age 52 or Rule of 70)  Reduced disability benefits Future pension cost increases shared by City and employees City may establish DC plan in the future for new hires. 44

45 Pension Reform: What Florida Cities Have Done Hollywood (2011) – All Employees [City declared financial urgency; pension changes approved by referendum on 9/13/11]* Pension benefits frozen for all employees Pension changes for current and future employees:  Delayed normal retirement date (Police/Fire - age 55 w/10 yrs or age 52 w/25 yrs; General – age 65 or age 62 w/25yrs or age 60 w/30yrs)  Reduced benefit multiplier (2.5% - police/fire; 2.0% - general)  5 year final averaging period (was 3 years)  No COLA for future service  No DROP * Litigation pending – police/fire 45

46 Pension Reform: What Florida Cities Have Done Naples (2012) – Police [Agreement with FOP ratified 10/11; pension changes implemented in March 2012] Pension changes for current and future employees:  Benefits frozen  Multiplier reduced from 3.63% to 3.0%  Final averaging period lengthened from 3 to 8 years  COLA eliminated (was 3% per year from age 55 to 62)  Salary reduced to exclude leave payouts  Normal retirement delayed for future employees to age 60 with 8 yrs service or 30 yrs service (was age 50 or 25 yrs service)  New DROP plan – 1.3% interest on DROP account 46

47 Town of Palm Beach (2012) – All Employees Pension benefits frozen Pension changes for current and future employees:  “Hybrid Plan “ - Defined contribution plan on top of DB plan  Reduced multiplier for future service under DB Plan (to 1.25%)  Delayed normal retirement date (from age 50 with 10 yrs service or 20 yrs service for police & fire, and age 55 or 30 yrs service for general; to age 65 for all employees (but DC plan distributions may begin earlier)  Automatic joint & survivor annuity replaced with life annuity (member may purchase survivor benefit)  No COLA  Town has withdrawn from Ch. 175 & 185 Pension Reform: What Florida Cities Have Done 47

48 Pension Reform: What Florida Cities Have Done Sarasota (2011) – Police [City Commission took final action to resolve impasse on 10/17/11; implemented July 2012] Pension changes for current and future employees:  5 year final averaging period (was 3 years)  Reduce COLA from 3.2% beginning one year after retirement to 1.0% beginning at age 65  Overtime pay included in pensionable earnings limited to 300 hours per year  Standard form of benefit: 10 years certain & life (was 67% automatic spouse survivor benefit for life of spouse)  Reduce DROP interest to 2.0% (was 6.5%) 48

49 Pension Reform: What Florida Cities Have Done Coral Gables (2012) – Police [City Commission took final action to resolve impasse on 9/11/12] Pension changes for current and future employees:  5 year final averaging period (was 3 years)  Reduce multiplier to 2.5% after 10 years of service (was 3%)  Reduce definition of pensionable earnings to exclude all OT and leave payouts  Defer normal retirement date to age 55 w/10 years of service or 25 years of service regardless of age (was “Rule of 70”)  Eliminate early retirement  5% Reduction in pay (in lieu of increase in member pension contribution 49

50 Pension Reform: What Florida Cities Have Done Port Orange – Fire [Implemented 12/20/12] Employee contribution increased by 7% (from 0.5% to 7.5%) Reduced pension benefits for current and future employees  Normal retirement date – changed to age 52 with 25 yrs service or age 55 with 10 yrs service (was 20 and out). For vested members: alternate normal retirement date of age 48 with 25 yrs service.  Reduced pensionable earnings (exclude overtime, incentive pay and specialty pay)  Extended final averaging period from 3 to 5 years  Reduced maximum benefit to lesser of 90% or $95,000  Reduced COLA  Reduced DROP earnings 50

51 Pension Reform: What Florida Cities Have Done Port Orange – Fire - Continued Reduced benefits for new hires:  2.5% multiplier  Maximum benefit: 80%  No COLA  No DROP  No supplemental benefit 51

52 Pension Reform: What Florida Cities Have Done Palm Beach Gardens (2012) – Fire [Changes agreed to by IAFF and implemented in 2012] Pension changes for current and future employees:  Redefine pensionable compensation to base pay (was total comp.)  Reduce COLA from 3.0% at age 55 to 1.5% for future service  75% maximum benefit cap (was 100%)  Premium tax transfer from share plan - $507K  First year savings (reduction in City contribution): $1.15 million 52

53 Pension Reform: What Florida Cities Have Done Palm Beach Gardens (2012) – Police [Changes imposed by City Council and implemented in 2012] Pension changes for current and future employees:  Reduce multiplier from 3.5% to 2.75% for future service  Redefine pensionable compensation to base pay (was total comp.)  Eliminate COLA (was based on actuarial gains)  75% maximum benefit cap (was 100%)  Defer normal retirement to age 59 with 10 years (was 20 and out)  First year savings (reduction in City contribution): $1.1 million 53

54 City of Oakland Park (2013) – Firefighters [imposed by City Commission and implemented in February 2013] Pension changes for current and future employees:  Pension Benefits Frozen  Multiplier reduced to 2.25% (was 3% for first 10 yrs, 4% for next 10 yrs, and 3% thereafter)  Normal retirement date changed to age 55 w/10 yrs service or age 52 w/25 yrs service (was 25 and out)  Eliminate COLA  Reduce DROP period to 3 years (was 5 years)  Close share plan Pension Reform: What Florida Cities Have Done 54

55 City of Ocala (2013) – General Employees [not yet implemented] Pension changes for current employees:  Pension Benefits Frozen  “Variable Benefit Hybrid Plan “ for future service  Contribution corridor established  Multiplier adjusts if City contribution goes above or below the corridor (minimum: 1.0%; maximum 2.55%)  No COLA  No DROP  Employee contribution can also adjust (3% - 5%) New hires: Defined contribution plan Pension Reform: What Florida Cities Have Done 55

56 Questions? Please send questions to Mr. Linn at: or Lewis, Longman & walker, P.A. 315 South Calhoun Street, Suite 830 Tallahassee, FL


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