CITY OF OAKLAND PARK, FLORIDA
CITY COMMISSION AGENDA ITEM REPORT
AGENDA ITEM NO. 1
|MEETING DATE: 8/3/2022
Andrew Thompson, CGFO
Chief Financial Officer
|DEPARTMENT HEAD APPROVAL:
Ordinance Amending Chapter Section 9-63 "Benefit Amounts and Eligibility", to provide for non-duty connected death benefits to City firefighters.
Legislative Update: This item was approved 5-0 on first reading during the July 20 2022, City Commission meeting. The ordinance was subsequently sent to the State Division of Retirement for review, along with a copy of the actuarial impact statement.
Issue Statement: In 2018, the City joined the Florida Retirement System for special risk class employees, i.e. firefighters. This transition from the local Police & Fire Pension Plan to the Florida Retirement System (FRS) was the result of collective bargaining between the City and the IAFF. All new firefighter employees would be automatically enrolled into FRS, whereas existing members were given a one-time election to either stay in the local plan or to transfer to FRS. Members transferring into FRS would need to complete eight years of service with FRS to be fully vested in the defined benefit pension plan.
Under FRS, non-vested members and their beneficiaries are eligible for in-line-of-duty death benefits. Under FRS, members’ beneficiaries are not entitled to survivor benefits for non-service connected deaths that occur prior to vesting in FRS. A non-service connected death benefit exists within the City plan, but members who transitioned to FRS are not eligible for this benefit under current plan language as they are no longer active members of the City plan. This creates a coverage gap for members until they vest in FRS, even if they were entitled to such a benefit when previously active members of the local pension plan.
The City has prepared an ordinance to modify the local pension plan to allow for members who transitioned to FRS, but who were vested in the City plan to be eligible for the existing non-service connected death benefits until termination of employment with the City or becoming vested in FRS. Metro Broward Professional Fire Fighters Local 3080 was provided with a copy of the ordinance language and agreed to waive collective bargaining rights over the adoption and implementation of the plan change.
Recommended Action: It is recommended that the City Commission conduct a public hearing and adopt on second reading the proposed ordinance amending Chapter 9 of the City's Code of Ordinances, entitled "Pensions and Retirements" to revise the City of Oakland Park Police, Firefighters, and Public Safety Officers Retirement System, specifically Section 9-63 "Benefit Amounts and Eligibility", to provide for non-duty connected death benefits to City firefighters who have transferred to the Florida Retirement System, but have not yet vested within that system.
The City's Police & Fire Pension Plan provides for a non-duty related death benefit for members that provided to the surviving spouse, or if no spouse, any surviving children. The details of the benefit are attached for reference. The proposed change to the pension plan would make this benefit available to members who transitioned to the Florida Retirement System, but are not yet vested in that system and therefore unable to collect the FRS non-duty related death benefit.
Modification of the City's local Police & Fire Pension Plan benefits requires multiple steps, including State approval.
Any proposed changes to fire fighter benefits are subject to collective bargaining, requiring an agreement first be ratified by both Metro Broward Professional Fire Fighters Local 3080 and the Oakland Park City Commission. To facilitate the implementation of the proposed pension changes, Local 3080 has waived collective bargaining on this issue, as shown in the attached letter.
Waiver of collective bargaining allows the City to immediately proceed to the adoption of the pension plan amendment ordinance. After 1st reading, the proposed ordinance is submitted to the State's Division of Retirement, along with an actuarial impact statement showing the financial effects of the proposed changes. The ordinance is then considered for adoption on second reading after a duly advertised public hearing. It should be noted that the Division of Retirement can request changes be made to the ordinance.
As shown in the attached ordinance, the proposed modification of the pension plan would be retroactive to January 1, 2022.
|The actuarial impact statement is attached for reference. The estimated annual increase in the City's funding costs to the plan would be $2,544.
It is recommended that the City Commission conduct a public hearing and adopt on second reading the proposed ordinance amending Chapter 9 of the City's Code of Ordinances, entitled "Pensions and Retirements" to revise the City of Oakland Park Police, Firefighters, and Public Safety Officers Retirement System, specifically Section 9-63 "Benefit Amounts and Eligibility", to provide for non-duty connected death benefits to City firefighters who have transferred to the Florida Retirement System, but have not yet vested within that system.