The city commission voted 3-2 to against the International Association of Fire Fighters’ (IAFF) request for a $1.3 million change to their recently negotiated contract with the City of Tallahassee.
At its April 11, 2018 meeting, the City Commission directed staff to provide additional information regarding the recently approved IAFF agreement and the fiscal impact of potential changes related to pension.
IAFF leadership was requesting a rollback of the employee pension contribution rate to 16 percent for the remainder of the contract term.
IAFF cited concerns that the police officer agreements did not include an increase in the employee contribution rate and that it is not equitable to seek additional contributions from firefighters. See table below.
The current employee contribution rate is 17.47 percent (FY18). It is scheduled to increase to 19.08 percent in FY19 and 20.69 percent in FY20.
In addition, the City contributes 31.13 percent to the firefighter pension fund. This amount is projected to increase to 38.9 percent in FY20 based on the plan benefits and scheduled employee contribution rate.
In all, the firefighter pension plan combined (employer and employee) rate for FY18 is 48.6 percent and projected to increase to 59.53 percent in FY20. The pension plan is funded at 78 percent of projected future benefits.
This requested employee contribution rollback rate is projected to cost an additional $1.3 million in City pension contributions.
Arguing that the firefighter pension plan along with negotiated wages were considered in total, city staff his recommended no changes be made to the contract.
Additionally, city staff was concerned re-opening the contract negotiations would trigger the impasse resolution provisions should the parties be unable to agree regarding the terms of the pension re-opener.
COMPARISON OF PLAN CONTRIBUTIONS
Fiscal Year 2018
 Employer contributions for police include an estimated 1.13 percent per year to reflect the cost of reducing the COLA from age 62 to age 55 for police officers hired on or after January 1998 and earlier than January 2001. Firefighters hired before October 1, 2017 are eligible for a COLA at age 52.
 Participants hired before October 1, 2014 contribute 11.25 percent.