Grand Junction eyes fire, police pension plans

Talk of offering pension plans for Grand Junction city employees hasn’t surfaced since 2006, but it will be on the city’s agenda during a meeting tonight.

Grand Junction City Council members will gather information from members of various city retirement boards on the idea of pension plans for the city’s fire and police employees.

Timing of the talks comes as the city’s 401(k) plan provider, International City Management Association Retirement Corp., is up for its five-year renewal.

Grand Junction last offered a public pension plan for fire and police employees in 1978. A year earlier, the Colorado Legislature determined local pension plans amounted to unfunded liabilities and passed reform bills, which established the Colorado Fire and Police Pension Association, or FPPA. It limited plans to police and firefighters hired before 1978, plans which the state partially funded.

Local police officers and firefighters then decided not to invest in Social Security, a decision which can’t be overturned.

Since 2004, fire and police employee groups in the state have been allowed to again enter the FPPA.

The city offers retirement contribution plans for all its full-time employees. Police and fire employees receive matched 10.65-percent contributions without Social Security, and general employees receive 6.2-percent matched contributions after Social Security.

The City Council can decide to pass an ordinance to offer local police and firefighters a pension plan, or they could put the issue to a vote of police and firefighters. If 65 percent of them want to participate in the Colorado Fire and Police Pension Association, the council would be required to consider it in an ordinance.

The meeting, which is open to the public but not for general public comment, will be at 5 p.m. in City Hall’s auditorium, 250 N. Fifth St.


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