The 2016 election is critical for stopping the planned austerity that will hand the US to global corporations and this global corporate tribunal. Bernie Sanders is an establishment pol that may flip----but he is the only candidate that may walk the talk. Our state and local elections are critical to having a farm team of progressive labor and justice candidates to move into Congress. In Baltimore---we are still seeing very neo-conservative candidates working for Johns Hopkins running for office.
When private pensions were shed in corporate bankruptcies last decades with the same Bain's Capital gutting of a healthy corporation of its funds as happened with AIG and will happen with this coming bond market fraud----they were placed in the Federal Pension Guaranty---and guess what? It is so far in debt----and now so leveraged with risk investment that it will implode----which was the plan. Below you see what PBGC was supposed to do---and what a labor union guaranty that mirrors this did---and you see where national labor union leadership was never protecting their membership. The pensions were fraudulently invested in the 2008 crash losing 1/2 of value and they will be taken out completely in the coming bond market crash because they are invested in the worst sovereign/municipal bond debt.
We understand labor union struggles with declining membership---but we have needed union leadership running against Clinton neo-liberals, not supporting them. We have no farm team for national elections because of this failure.
Reagan and Clinton neo-liberals set to imploding all Federal agencies tasked with helping low-income people from housing, to education, to health care----massive frauds have crippled all with debt. All those agencies worked fine before the deregulation allowed for all this fraud. These pension guaranties will implode and take these pensions as bond market fraud soars as did subprime mortgage fraud.
As with life insurance collapse---so to these pension guaranties.
PBGC Pension Insurance: We've Got You Covered
Congress set up PBGC to insure the defined-benefit pensions of working Americans. Defined-benefit pension plans are traditional pensions that pay a certain amount each month after you retire. If you have a pension from a private-sector job, you are probably one of the 44 million Americans covered by PBGC insurance protection. PBGC insures nearly 26,000 pension plans.
Finding Your Insured Pension Plan
PBGC insures two types of defined-benefit pension plans in two separate insurance programs.
Single-employer pension plans are pensions that employers set up only for people who work for their company. PBGC insures about 34 million people in single-employer pension plans.
PBGC Pension Insurance: We've Got You CoveredCongress set up PBGC to insure the defined-benefit pensions of working Americans. Defined-benefit pension plans are traditional pensions that pay a certain amount each month after you retire. If you have a pension from a private-sector job, you are probably one of the 44 million Americans covered by PBGC insurance protection. PBGC insures nearly 26,000 pension plans.
Finding Your Insured Pension Plan PBGC insures two types of defined-benefit pension plans in two separate insurance programs.
Single-employer pension plans are pensions that employers set up only for people who work for their company. PBGC insures about 34 million people in single-employer pension plans.
Stein went to work with Obama after the election partnered to mister Trans Pacific Trade Pact anything for Wall Street neo-liberal Obama. There was no choice between Obama and Clinton----but you don't go to work for them for goodness sake! Obama could have fully funded this pension fund and fought to recover the pension fraud but did nothing.
SEIU National Industry Pension Fund
Union Pension Fund Management Concludes Plan Is Critically Underfunded
Monday, June 15, 2009 1:28 AM
Andrew Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, often has emphasized his commitment to building a lean, efficient organization. His union and unions generally, he argues, need to aggressively cut costs and generate revenues in every way possible. Yet the SEIU is a union in major financial trouble. Its pension plan is no exception. Several weeks ago, the Washington, D.C.-based SEIU National Industry Pension Fund (NIPF) revealed in an April 30 letter to union leadership that the pension plan was in "critical status," or the "red zone." This "Notice of Critical Status" stated as follows: "This is to inform you that on March 31, the Plan actuary certified to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and also to the Trustees, that the Plan is in critical status (the "red zone") for the plan year beginning January 1, 2009. Federal law requires that you receive this notice."
A great many American workers are enrolled in some form of retirement plan. It’s a virtual necessity given that Social Security payments on average provide roughly only 40 percent of the income necessary for a comfortable retirement. Employees have to be able to count on sound and prudent management of their pension funds, whether of the “defined-benefit” (fiduciary-managed) or “defined-contribution” (employee-managed) variety. Of the roughly 700,000 active retirement programs, the vast majority are now of the latter variety, the most familiar of which is the 401(k) plan. Charged with enforcing the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Labor Department in almost all cases require private-sector plan sponsors to submit annual “Form 5500” financial disclosure forms. An underfunded plan – that is, one whose liabilities exceed assets – inevitably raises red flags if the condition is severe and longstanding. Even in mild cases, the DOL, along with the ERISA-created Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), may notify sponsors of the need for better capitalization.
Now, I am a strong supporter of unions---we simply have allowed our labor leadership to be taken by Clinton neo-liberals as the Democratic Party was. Corporate bankruptcy rulings fleeced these pensions and health benefits as does Wall Street fraud so keeping these pensions funded was hard. Spending money on elections needs to take a back seat to organizing and community education.
We can save these pensions and retirements---we simply have to have candidates and pols at state and local level that will enforce Rule of Law and Equal Protection taking all this fraud to Federal court. I do not hear Rule of Law from any candidate---I know they are neo-liberals or neo-cons. Those campaign funds could go for legal costs in defending pensions from fraud. Public pension funds were deliberately underfunded during the best of economic times as in Baltimore and Maryland. THESE PENSION GUARANTIES WILL BE INVESTED IN THE BOND MARKET AND WILL BE LOST IN THIS COMING CRASH.
Below you see the bond king---PIMCO and Bill Gross. Gross unloaded PIMCO a few years ago because he super-sized bond investments in ways he knows will implode his corporation and the investors with PIMCO---and that is most of main street and labor unions. He is tied to both sovereign and municipal bond debt and heavily in emerging markets that will be the first to collapse in this economic crash. Gross did to PIMCO what AIG's CEO did to AIG---loaded it with what he knew was bad bond deals defrauding consumers.
Imploding nations and cities with bond fraud was categorized as socially responsible and all tax-free.
Socially Responsible Emerging Markets Bond Strategy
What is the Socially Responsible Emerging Markets Bond Strategy?
PIMCO’s Socially Responsible Emerging Markets Bond Strategy combines PIMCO’s expertise in the active management of emerging markets debt with the expertise of the Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) screen provider, Storebrand. In this way the strategy aims to achieve solid financial returns while at the same time taking into account ESG (environment, social and governance) factors.
The strategy will use PIMCO’s longstanding emerging markets (EM) investment process but will not purchase securities issued by sovereigns and corporates that do not meet the SRI provider’s selection criteria.
We believe that the combination of the strengths of two industry leaders in their respective fields – PIMCO and Storebrand – provides an attractive investment proposition for clients seeking to take advantage of opportunities in the emerging markets whilst being mindful of socially responsible criteria.
RULE OF LAW EASY PEASY FOLKS!
Stop the Unions from Stealing from their workers!
by harshreality Jun. 17, 2011 12:34 pm
Everytime I hear Thom and others interviewing pro union con men I am irked that he never asks about how they cheat their workers out of their defined benefit plans and pass the bill to the US tax payers. Union pension funds are promised by union leaders but guaranteed by federal tax payers through the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation www.pbgc.gov
Next time you have one of those scumbag union leaders or leftist hacks ask them how they manage to under fund their pension while seemingly having limitless funds for purchasing Democratic politicians??? Are they for the workers who they screw by not fixing their pensions or for the power they gain through purchased political capital?
Here are a few references for you…
Public (State) Employee union shortfalls:
- In 2011 70% of Decator , Illinois ’ property taxes will go to fund union pensions (h/t anacreon)
- Illinois , as a state, has $54.4 billion in unfunded liabilities
- New Jerseyans owe their public pension plans up to $173.9 billion and it was discovered the Democrat-run state allegedly defrauded investors without disclosing the debt as bonds were sold from 2001 through 2007
- New York State may have $120 billion in unfunded pension debt
- New York City , on the other hand, may have had up to $76 billion in unfunded liability before 2008’s market slump
- The City of Philadelphia ’s public pension plan is nearly $5 billion underfunded
- Oklahoma has $12 billion in unfunded pension liabilities
- Colorado has $16.8 billion in unfunded pension liabilities
- CALPERS is estimated to be $500 BILLION underfunded
Almost half of the nation’s 20 largest unions have pension funds that federal law classifies as “endangered” or in “critical” condition due to being underfunded, an Examiner review of federal actuarial reports shows.
Pensions with less than 80 percent of the assets needed to cover present and projected liabilities are considered “endangered,” while those that fall below a 65 percent threshold are classified as “critical” under the Pension Protection Act of 2006.
Unions are required to file 5500 forms that record the financial health of their retirement plans, show that union pension funds have lost their financial footing over the past several years.
Eight of the largest unions have underfunded plans, according to the most recent 5500 reports, including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Laborers International Union of Northern America, the International Association of Machinists, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, the International Union of Operating Engineers, and the National Plumbers Union.
Private Sector Unions (remember below 80% is ENDANGERED)
Alaska Hotel & Restaurant Employees Pension Plan 79.70%.
American Federation of Musicians & Employers Pension 78.90%.
Teamsters Local 639 Employers Pension Trust 76.10%.
Producer-Writers Guild of America Pension Plan 75.90%.
Ohio Operating Engineers Pension Plan 75.70%.
Laborers District Council and Contractors Pension Fund of Ohio 75.40%.
Southern Nevada Culinary & Bartenders Pension Trust 75.40%.
Alaska Electrical Pension Plan 74.30%.
Alaska Laborers – Employers Retirement Fund 73.70%.
Electrical Contractors Assoc. of City of Chicago Union 134, IBEW Jt. Pension 2 73.70%.
Carpenters Retirement Plan of Western Washington 73.10%.
Automotive Industries Pension Plan 72.40%.
American Maritime Officers Pension Plan (2005) 72.40%.
United Mine Workers of America 1974 Pension Plan 72.30%.
GCIU Local 119B NY Printers League Pension Fund 71.40%.
National Elevator Industry Pension 71.00%.
Western Conference of Teamsters 70.60%.
Newspaper GUILD of NY the New York Times Pension Plan 70.50%.
Chicago District Council of Carpenters Pension Fund 70.10%.
District No. 9, IAM and Aerospace Workers Pension 69.70%.
Rocky Mt. UFCW Unions & Employers Pension Plan 69.50%.
Hotel/Casino – Summary 69.50%.
NECA-IBEW Pension Trust Fund 69.20%.
Central Pension Fund of the IUOE and Participating Employers 69.20%.
AFTRA Retirement Plan 68.90%.
Carpenters Pension Trust Fund of St Louis 68.60%.
MA State Carpenters Pension Fund 68.60%.
National Automatic Sprinkler Industry Pension 67.80%.
Midwest Operating Engineers Pension 67.80%.
Retail Clerks Pension Plan 67.70%.
Electrical Workers Pension Fund, Local 103, IBEW 67.50%.
Building Trades United Pension Trust Fund MIL and Vicinity 67.40%.
CWA/ITU Negotiated Pension Plan 66.80%.
UFCW Unions & Employers Midwest Pension Fund 66.70%.
Laborers Pension Fund 66.70%.
Carpenters Pension Fund of Philadelphia and Vicinity 66.40%.
UFCW International Union Pension Plan for Employees 66.40%.
Alaska Teamster-Employer Pension Plan 66.30%.
Steelworkers Pension Trust (2007) 66.20%.
Hotel Industry-ILWU Pension Plan 65.70%.
National Asbestos Workers Pension Fund 65.20%.
IUOE Stationary Engineers Local 39 Pension Plan 65.20%.
Below 65% funding is CRITICAL
SEIU National Industry Pension Fund 65.00%.
Trucking Employees of North Jersey Welfare Fund Inc. Pension Fund 65.00%.
Massachusetts Laborers Pension Fund 64.70%.
California Ironworkers Field Pension Trust 64.50%.
Carpenters Pension Fund of Illinois 64.20%.
Automotive Machinists Pension Plan 63.80%.
NJ Carpenters Pension Fund 63.60%.
The Newspaper Guild International Pension Plan 62.80%.
Minnesota Laborers Pension Fund 62.40%.
Bakery & Confectionery Union & Industry International Pension 62.30%.
Laborers National Pension Fund 62.10%.
Operating Engineers Pension Trust 61.70%.
UFCW Unions and Food Employers Pension Plan of Central Ohio 61.30%.
UFCW Nothern California Joint Pension 61.00%.
Carpenters Pension fund of Western Pennsylvania 60.80%.
Newspaper and Mail Delivers – Publishers Pension Fund 60.50%.
Carpenter Pension Trust for Southern California 60.40%.
BERT Bell Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan 60.00%.
Major League Baseball Players Pension Plan 59.60%.
Sheet Metal Workers Pension Plan of S. CA, Arizona and Nevada 59.50%.
NY District Council of Carpenters Pension Plan 59.30%.
SO CA UFCW Union Joint Pension 58.40%.
National Electrical Benefit Fund 58.20%.
Boilermaker Blacksmith National Pension 58%.
GCIU-Employer Retirement Fund 57.60%.
ILWU-PMA Pension Plan 56.90%.
Masters, Mates & Pilots Pension Plan 56.60%.
Wisconsin Carpenters Pension Fund 56.50%.
Electrical Workers Pension Trust Fund of Local Union 58 55.80%.
Automotive Mechanics Local No. 701 Union Pension Fund 55.60%.
IB of T Union Local 710 Pension 55.60%.
Michigan Laborers Pension Fund 55.30%.
PACE Industry Union-Management Pension Fund 55.20%.
Pipe Fitters Retirement Fund Local 597 55.20%.
Sheet Metal Workers Pension Plan of Northern Calif 55.10%.
Central Pennsylvania Teamsters Defined Benefit Plan 55.10%.
NY Hotel Trades Council and Hotel Association of NYC Pension Fund 55.10%.
Teamsters Joint Council No. 83 of Verginia Pension Fund 54.90%.
National Integrated Group Pension Plan 54.50%.
Plumbers & Pipefitters National Pension 54.50%.
Central Laborers Pension Fund 54.20%.
Iron Workers District Council of Southern Ohio & Vicinity Pension Trust 53.90%.
Carpenters Pension Trust Fund for Northern California 53.70%.
Bricklayers & Trowel Trades International Pension Fund 53.60%.
Western Pennsylvania Teamsters and Employers Pension Plan 53.10%.
Chicago Newspaper Publishers Drivers Union Pension Trust 52.90%.
OE Pension Trust Fund 52.40%.
Indiana State District Council of Laborers & Hod Carriers Pension Fund 51.70%.
NYS Teamsters Conference Pension & Retirement Fund 51.40%.
LIUNA National Industrial Pension Fund 50.30%.
Michigan Carpenters Pension Fund 50.20%.
Twin City Carpenters Pension Fund 50.20%.
Laborers Pension Trust Fund for Northern California 50.00%.
HERE Local 25 and Hotel Association of Washington , DC Pension 49.30%.
Central States SE&SW 48.50%.
Teamsters Pension Trust of Philadelphia and Vicinity 48.50%.
Operating Engineers Local 324 Pension Fund 47.30%.
Laborers District Council of W. PA Pension Fund 46.80%.
Iron Workers Local No. 25 Pension Trust Fund 46.40%.
Local 705 IB of T Pension Trust Fund 46.30%.
Building Service 32B-J Pension Fund 42.30%.
Carpenters Pension Trust Fund Detroit & Vicinity 41.40%.
New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension 40.50%.
FELRA and UFCW Pension Fund 39.80%.
Local 804 I.B.T. and Local 447 IAM UPS Multi-employer Retirement Plan 39.70%.
Sheet Metal Workers National Pension Fund 38.00%
STOP the UNION crooks by demanding they live up to the promises they have made to their workers!
Remember, this is one big plan to move the wealth of Europe and US to the top---while you were reading about the European sovereign debt crisis in Greece, Spain, Italy, and Portugal-----PIMCO and global pension funds were investing in that debt. They say it was because of high-risk yield but it was the same tool to keep those nations afloat while the big investors moved their investments to safe ground. The same happened when all pensions went to the Big Banks as the economy was crashing from the subprime mortgage fraud.
The bond market has always been the trusted market but everyone who knows finance knew Congress and the FED passed laws and rules that would implode the bond market---it was all deliberate, willful, and done with malice....it is fraud.
Now that the bond crash is nearing all kinds of rules are being passed saying people cannot take their bond investments out of the market---the TROIKA and FED are saying this....meaning they are trapping people into a collapsing market.
Don't trust your stock and bond managers---know where your money is!
Below you see how this article lures you to thinking the bond market is safe---just as consumers buying subprime mortgages were told they could manage that debt over time.
Why Your Pension Plan Has Sovereign Debt In It
By Kristina Zucchi, CFA | Updated May 28, 2013
Read more: http://www.investopedia.com
Pension funds are a type of retirement plan that “contracts” with the employee to pay a certain amount per year based on several factors after the employee retires. To meet the contractual obligations, pension plans invest in a variety of assets to ensure they meet their hurdle rate. This is the rate of return determined by an actuary necessary to meet all the future obligations, i.e., the return needed to be able to pay the employee the “promised” amount after the employee retires. Pension plans usually employ a diversification strategy when investing so that they reduce market risk as well as stratify the securities to match their obligations or liabilities.
One type of security pensions tend to invest in is sovereign debt, or the debt issued by a government in that country’s currency. For example, the U.S. government issues debt, such as U.S. Treasuries or T-bills, in U.S. dollars. These types of securities are attractive to pension plans for several reasons, but understanding how these securities work is helpful in discussing why pension funds invest in them.
Sovereign vs. Corporate Debt
Sovereign debt is one type of a fixed income security. Fixed income refers to any security where the issuer borrows money from the investor, and in return the issuer pays the investor a fixed level of interest at predetermined intervals until the bond’s end date or “maturity”, at which point the issuer pays the investor the face value of the bond.
Another type of fixed income security is corporate debt. Sovereign debt differs from corporate debt in a few ways. Corporate debt is issued by companies. These bonds tend to be more risky than sovereign debt because the ability to repay the loan depends on the company’s ability to execute its business, which is influenced by the company and its products, services, competitors, overall market conditions and extraneous forces such as regulations. As a result, corporate bonds typically pay higher yields or returns than sovereign bonds to compensate investors for the increased risk.
In contrast, sovereign debt is considered a safer security since it is issued by governments. Historically, it is rare for governments to fail to meet debt obligations since they control their revenues (in the form of taxes), and because of this these assets are deemed risk-free by investors.
Although sovereign debt tends to be safe, there have been instances where countries have failed to meet their obligations and defaulted on the bonds. Several examples include Russia in the Ruble Crisis in 1998, Germany after World War II, the U.K. in the 1930s, and most recently Greece in 2012. Even the U.S. has defaulted on its bonds five times before. In fact, most countries have at one point or another defaulted on their obligations, and some have done it many times over. Despite these historical facts, the “safe” assumption attached to sovereign bonds persists because although most countries going back to the 1800s have defaulted, it is still quite a rare occurrence.
In addition to the safety, another reason that pension plans find investing in sovereign bonds desirable is because pensions need to be able to meet their contractual obligation to pay retiree benefits. Investing in sovereign bonds of the same currency helps pensions “avoid mismatches” between their assets (how much money they currently have to pay retirees) and liabilities (how much money they need to pay retirees). In theory, pension funds need to determine how big the liability is and when they will need to pay it, and buy government bonds (because they are safe) in quantities that match the size of the liability with maturities, or end dates, that match when the liabilities are due to be paid out. One problem with this approach is that although it is a low probability, the risk of default for these bonds may impact the sensitivity of the bonds to changes in interest rates. Thus the expected return may differ from the actual return. For example, a bond with a sensitivity to changes in interest rates of three years means that the price of the bond is expected to rise 3% for every 1% decrease in yield. But because the default risk may be higher than expected, the sensitivity may be less than three years, so the matching principle fails and the pension fund’s assets come up lower than the liabilities. This is one of the risks with investing in sovereign debt.
Pension plans have investment guidelines set up to establish controls over the types of securities the plans can invest in. As a result, plans are often limited to the specific percentage of the total plan they can buy in any one asset class, investment type and geographic region. As a result of these limitations, plans have very little diversification in sovereigns that they buy. Although plans will often ladder or stagger the maturities, they infrequently purchase securities denominated in a broad diversified range of currencies. Therefore, one way pension funds can reduce exposure to default risk is to diversify the currency of sovereigns. However, this strategy is limited by the plan’s investment guidelines.
The use of sovereign debt in pension plans makes sense, because the benefits of “risk-free” investing where the default risk is extremely low and matching assets with liabilities can be accomplished with minimal “tweaking” of the sensitivity calculations. While these are the benefits, they can also be the risks! Without a clear understanding of the default risks, plans may overstate their assets and fall short of meeting their liabilities. Some of these risks can be diversified away by investing in a broad cache of sovereigns - broad enough to not only invest in different countries but also make sure that they invest in different regions. Then if one country fails, the regions are so diversified that they will not all fail together. By employing this strategy, the pension plan will accomplish its goal of meeting its obligations (without making unanticipated contributions) because the assets exceed the liabilities.
O'Malley moved teacher's pension to local governments just in time for Baltimore to be pushed into bankruptcy with this bond market crash----
BYE BYE TEACHER'S PENSIONS SAY O'MALLEY/RAWLINGS-BLAKE!
Privatizing pensions to 401Ks is about the worst you can do to public employees. Whereas pensions are being sent to the worst of investments----401Ks will simply disappear.
I listen to state and local government workers talk to one another about these investments trying to follow for themselves and there is no way for them to know the wheeling and dealing happening behind closed doors. Citizens who say good riddance to public pensions and retirements----you have more tax revenue looted by corporations in one month then needed to fund public sector retirements.
Police, fire unions oppose mayor's new pension plan
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun
Baltimore's police and fire unions are fighting a new proposal from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to privatize part of the pensions of new employees — a move union officials argue will make it harder to recruit and retain the best young officers.
City finance officials say the privatization plan is the latest step needed to save the Fire and Police Employees' Retirement System, which they say is struggling and carries a $765 million unfunded liability. But union officials say the threat of pension collapse is overblown, and maintain that weaker benefits will cause talented recruits to go elsewhere.
"The union vehemently opposes it," said Rick Hoffman, president of the city's firefighters' union. "It's not going to get us the people we need to grow Baltimore. We are going to go back to the days where we couldn't keep paramedics."
Rawlings-Blake proposes a "hybrid" pension for new police officers and firefighters, rather than the traditional pension that legally guarantees retirees will earn at least 60 percent of their salaries after 25 years on the job. The unions say the new plan would guarantee new workers a pension that pays only about half as much as what current employees will receive.
A traditional pension guarantees a defined level of pay, while a 401(k)-style plan is subject to the ups and downs of the financial markets.
The administration bill is pending in the City Council's finance committee, where chairman Carl Stokes said he plans to let the two sides negotiate before calling a vote.
Deputy Mayor Andrew Smullian said the administration wants to negotiate with the unions but recognizes the two sides might not ever see eye-to-eye.
"The status quo is not an option," Smullian said. "We understand they want the most lucrative pension. We might never come to an agreement, but we're at the table."
Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts referred questions to the mayor's office. Ian Brennan, a spokesman for Fire Chief Niles Ford, said he's backing the proposal.
"Chief Ford supports the mayor's plans to improve the city's long-term financial stability," he said in an email.
The move isn't the first time the unions and the administration have battled over pensions.
In 2010, Rawlings-Blake introduced a pension overhaul that included cuts to existing police and firefighters' benefits. The unions responded by picketing City Hall and posting billboards accusing elected leaders of turning their backs on public safety workers. A legal fight ensued after the City Council eventually backed the mayor's plan. That case is still pending in federal court.
City police and firefighters pay 10 percent of their salaries into their pensions. Other municipal workers recently began contributing and will eventually pay up to 5 percent of their salaries into the fund.
City finance director Harry E. Black pointed out that Baltimore's unfunded liability continues to grow. Unfunded pension liabilities represent how much in contractual obligations the city would be unable to pay if they all came due today. For police and firefighters, the number rose from $712 million to $765 million last year.
"What the city is proposing would provide for a dignified retirement for new hires," Black said. "What has been proposed would be sustainable in the long haul."
Robert F. Cherry Jr., president of the city's police union, said Baltimore's pensions already pay less in benefits than those in surrounding jurisdictions. He noted police and firefighters aren't eligible for Social Security benefits, and their pension system is in the black year-to-year.
"For police and fire, the nature of the job contains a lot of risk," Cherry said. "This is going to significantly affect the police commissioner's ability to recruit."
Cherry argued that Baltimore would be one of the first cities in the country to shift to a hybrid system for police and firefighters. He said Philadelphia has implemented a voluntary hybrid system, and only a handful of officers signed up.
"They keep calling this a trend," Cherry said. "I don't know if you can call eight people in a voluntary system a trend."
Smullian acknowledged what the mayor is proposing is a relatively new concept.
"We are at the forefront of what we're doing. I don't think we deny that," he said. "But we're not trying to be pioneers just to be pioneers."
The city has already negotiated an agreement with unions representing non-public-safety municipal employees, in which new hires will be covered by a hybrid plan. It took nine months to reach that deal.
Councilman Stokes noted that both city police and firefighters recently negotiated raises with which the unions were pleased. He said he hopes a similar deal can be reached before his committee votes.
"We plan to hold the bill in committee while the administration and workers work out a compromise," he said.