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  Posted on: Tuesday, July 11, 2017
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Police Pension Update

   
 
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"A Season of Change"

It has been well over a month since the new Pension Law for Houston Police Officers (and surviving spouses) has taken effect.  The actual effect to the benefit structure has not yet surfaced to most members of HPOPS and to our members.  When negotiations began, between HPOPS and the City of Houston, last year for the compromise, the general mood and feelings were that this would be a "slam dunk" at the legislature.  It was not anticipated that many obstacles would arise and create problems leading to a finished piece of legislation. There were some problems that we were able to overcome, such as a trustee position on  HPOPS Board who had been re-elected to an active position even though he had entered Phase Down A class just prior to a delayed election process.  Other problems were not so easy to overcome, such as the mandate for an election by the citizens of Houston on the sale of POB's (Pension Obligation Bonds) which will allow the City of Houston the ability to pay the police pension system the $750 million they short changed the system on their ARC (Annual Required Contribution) for the preceding 12 or 14 years.  No such law actually existed prior to it's inclusion in  the compromise bill, and the city could have already sold the bonds prior to the effective date of the new law. 
 
Now, having previously stated the fact that the city could have made moot the point on bond sales prior to effective date of the law, we can only take a wait and see position of the results of a November election on this issue and other issues that may be included.  If one can believe that one new position by the mayor, according to the Houston Chronicle, he stated that he probably will not include the proposition  calling the removal of the property tax cap.  This may keep many opponents from coming to the polls and voting negatively on  the bond issue.
 
I hope that many of you have been keeping up with all HPOPS news concerning changes to the pension law.
Their most recent was on their web site on Friday, May 27, 2017, titled CHANGES UNDER THE LAW - QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.
 
This was good information and hopefully answers most of your questions regarding it's impact on your benefits.  However, it does not answer the question, should it arise, on a specific date that benefits will be returned to prior benefit structure of the old plan if the city cannot pay it's obligated debt to the system since there was written into the law a delayed extension for payment.
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