Cincinnati Pension

Cincinnati council will likely vote this week to incorporate some of the key components of the pension settlement agreement into municipal code.  

Cincinnati council members spent nearly four hours Tuesday questioning the fund managers and the actuary for the city's pension system.

Some are worried about the fees those managers are charging in relationship to the city's returns on its investments.  Council also wants to make sure those managers are making smart decisions based on current market conditions.  

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

  

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The City of Cincinnati has reached a deal with the unions of current employees and with retirees over the pension fund.  Unfunded liability in that account had been estimated at $862 million, according to a release from the city.  But now, Mayor John Cranley says the settlement reached late Tuesday night will mean the pension system will be fully funded.

Jay Hanselman

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley is holding a press briefing Wednesday afternoon  to highlight his first year in office.

In advance of meeting with reporters, the Mayor's office released a three-and-a-half page document that list highlights during Cranley's first year.  He took office on December 1, 2013.

Some of those highlights include a balanced budget, thousands of jobs and more cops on the street.

Jay Hanselman

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley has now selected a firm to lead the search for the next city manager.  He said during his weekly press briefing Thursday he met with about seven companies before hiring California-based Ralph Anderson and Associates.  

He said a representative of the search firm will be in town next week to meet with city council members.  

“And help build out a profile for the search,” Cranley said.  “He intends to be out there pounding the pavement looking for candidates at the end of next week or the week after.”

Jay Hanselman

Cincinnati Council is ready to endorse a process that would let a federal court mediate a solution to the city's underfunded pension problem.  The Budget and Finance Committee voted unanimously Monday for an ordinance to make that happen.  

The ordinance would let the city manager negotiate a settlement agreement with various parties on a long-term solution to the pension issue.  Right now the retirement system is only 61 percent funded and that will only get worse without some action soon.  

Cincinnati Council's Budget and Finance Committee holds a public hearing Monday on a plan to let a federal judge mediate a solution to the city's pension crisis.  

Jay Hanselman

Cincinnati Council could vote next week on an ordinance that would essentially let a federal court mediate a permanent solution to fix the city's currently under-funded pension system.  

Mayor John Cranley introduced the idea Tuesday during a city hall press conference.  

One item up for negotiation could be the compound cost of living adjustments some city retirees now enjoy.  Changing that has been a thorny issue.

UPDATE:

Ohio's top court says Hamilton County must amend its ballot language on a Cincinnati charter amendment ahead of the November election.

The Supreme Court Thursday ruled the county must include omitted sections of the proposed amendment to reform the city's employee pension program.  The group Cincinnati for Pension Reform put the issue on the ballot but objected to the modified language adopted by the Board of Elections.

It’s not every day that you come across an issue that unites the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.

Nor are there many issues on which the two Democratic candidates for Cincinnati mayor, John Cranley and Roxanne Qualls, agree.

But Issue 4, the tea party-backed charter amendment that will be on the Nov. 5 ballot, is one of them.  

Jay Hanselman

Cincinnati voters will decide in November if they want to amend the charter to make changes to the city's troubled pension system.  Those could include finding a way to fully fund the current plan in ten years and requiring new employees to be in 401K style plans similar to those offered by many private employers.  

A Cincinnati Council Committee will likely vote Tuesday to place a charter amendment on the November ballot that would change the city's retirement.  

The committee doesn't have a choice since the group behind the effort collected enough valid signatures to get the issue before voters.  

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