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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, May. 27, 201412:00 PM EST

Pension deal won't reach City Council tonight

by: David Chapman

After an agreement last week on public safety pension reform, city officials hoped to file a bill reflecting the deal to City Council tonight.

That won’t happen.

Chris Hand, Mayor Alvin Brown’s chief of staff, sent a 3 p.m. email to council members with an explanation. He cited the Police and Fire Pension Fund attorney’s holiday weekend travel and needed feedback from the fund’s board as reasons why a written agreement wasn’t finalized. The board met this morning.

Hand said that as a result, the mayor’s office intends to propose the agreement no later than the next filing deadline of June 4 on a one-cycle basis. That would mean it would hit council committee levels during the week of June 16 and possibly come before council for a final vote June 24.

As he said last week, Hand indicated staff would individually meet with council members to provide a briefing of the deal.

Brown and fund administrator John Keane struck a deal that would change the benefits and contributions of new employees, alter some for current employees and change part of the governance structure of the fund moving forward.

Part of that deal is for the city to contribute an additional $40 million each year to alleviate the city’s more than $1.6 billion in the plan’s unfunded liability. How the city would fund that annual obligation was one of the main points of questions and concerns council members have had.

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