Information for Police Officers in Group III (Combination of Blue and Orange Service)
All Police Officers in Groups III and IV will contribute an additional 3.8% toward the pension solution in addition to another 0.6% for their 25-and-Out provision. This increase will be phased: Effective as of the July 20, 2019, pay period, their contribution will increase by 1.8%; beginning with Pay Period 1 of 2020, it will increase by an additional 2%; and beginning with Pay Period 1 of 2021, it will increase by an additional 0.6%
COLA (Cost of Living Benefit) changes
The current structure of the COLA has been completely preserved for all Police Officers in Group III who retire, who retire early with a penalty, or who enter DROP by Jan. 1, 2021. These Police Officers will receive either 1) an ad-hoc COLA, or 2) a simple 2% COLA for their years of Blue Service and Orange Service through July 20, 2019, depending on their previous individual choice.
COLAs have been eliminated for Group III's future service, beginning July 20, 2019. This means that officers with Blue Service will not receive a COLA for their future service after this cut-off.
Police officers with a combination of Blue Service and Orange Service who do not retire or enter DROP by Jan. 1, 2021, will see their COLA for the service earned before July 20, 2019, become a variable COLA, based on the health of the fund. Current projections indicate that this variable COLA will not be awarded in the foreseeable future.
Effective July 20, 2019, any unused sick leave earned will not convert to service credit upon retirement. However, all sick leave balances earned prior to July 20, 2019, will continue to convert to service credit.
Risk sharing mechanism
If the health of the pension is not restored by changes to the benefit and contribution increases, a risk sharing mechanism will kick in during 2022. If that happens, Police Officers in Groups III and IV will contribute an additional 1.6% with the increase limited to 0.8% in any one year. Any further changes would require city council adoption and potentially another council vote.
Overtime contribution and DROP increase
The city has always made contributions to the fund for all overtime earned by Police Officers with Blue/Orange Service (Group III), but previously did not make contributions on overtime earned by Police Officers with Orange Service only (Group IV). Also, Police Officers did not make contributions to the pension fund for any overtime earned.
Now, effective July 20, 2019, Police Officers are required to begin making contributions on all overtime earned, including members with Orange Service only (Group IV). Additionally, the DROP period will increase from five to six years, effective July 20, 2019.