Friday, December 09, 2016

Dallas Police and Fire Pension Board ends run on the bank, stops $154M in withdrawals

Dallas Police and Fire Pension Board ends run on the bank, stops $154M in withdrawals | Dallas City Hall | Dallas News:
"The Dallas Police and Fire Pension System's Board of Trustees suspended lump-sum withdrawals from the pension fund Thursday, staving off a possible restraining order and stopping $154 million in withdrawal requests.
The system was set to pay out the weekly requests Friday.
Pension officials said allowing the withdrawals would leave them without the liquid reserves required to sustain the $2.1 billion fund.
"Our situation is currently critical, and we took action," board chairman Sam Friar said.
Image result for pension failurePension officials and many police and firefighters have blamed Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings for forcing the latest run on the bank.
Dozens of retirees rushed to request withdrawals after Rawlings filed a lawsuit Monday to stop the withdrawals.
By then, more than $500 million had already gushed from the fund since the board proposed benefit cuts in August.
Rawlings  told a crowd gathered Thursday afternoon at a Dallas Regional Chamber that "the bleeding has stopped. We can turn this ship around."
...Council member Philip Kingston, a board trustee, said the mayor "unquestionably" forced the pension board's hand. He said Thursday was "the worst day I've had in public office."
"Unfortunately, financially, this had to happen," he said.
Kingston said the tough decision will be worth it if it means the pension, which is hurtling toward insolvency within the next decade or so, can be saved.
...Both taxpayers and police and firefighters will have to share in the pain, he said..."

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