Today, Full Assault Put on Your Pension

retirementLadies and Gentlemen,

Today, a full assault is targeted at each of your associations and at each of your members (retired and active). Today a full assault is targeted at Arizona’s law enforcement and correctional institutions. Today life as we have come to know it and expect it is going to be irrevocably changed. This change is coming because of a politician’s political ambitions. This change is coming because of a professional lawyers’ need for headlines. This change is coming because of false information and distorted facts that were provided to the public from media representatives whose sole purpose in life is to create controversy to sell newspapers.

Those we thought we could count on do not have the courage to stand by their statements made to you and me when we vetted them prior to the last election. They may talk the talk but they apparently do not have the courage to walk the walk of their own convictions. Remember the remarks made today by these legislators for their comments will clearly illustrate how they regard each of you and the promises made to each of you and your members. It has been made perfectly clear that these legislators do not count you among their constituents. You are now an annoyance, someone not worth debating and someone beneath contempt to those deemed, by self proclamation, to be your superior.

I urge you all to continue do your jobs to the utmost of your ability. I know you will because that is the nature of those in our profession. But I also caution you, don’t take extraordinary measures or actions that could endanger your life or cause you significant injury because the promises made to you by the State of Arizona will likely no longer be kept. So please take a step back from these situations or encounters and wait for back-up. Do your duty to the best of your ability and within the scope of your operations orders because the citizens of this state deserve our support and no less than the best we can offer. Strive to be more aware of your surroundings and the dangers that could await you because if you take fateful action you are truly doing so at your own peril because, from this day forth, you can only count on your brothers and sisters in arms for support. I urge you to never forget what you hear today because when it comes to having your back in times of crisis or when you put your lives on the line for the citizens of the State of Arizona please remember our politicians, those elected officials in the legislature, that we helped put in office have already forgotten you and left the building.

The legislative action being taken today makes it clear our legislators have ceased caring about the sacrifices made by those forcibly taken from our ranks and the widows and children they left behind. Please god, let us not forget them as have these elected officials. We must now rely on the courts and the governor, the scale balancing parts of our government, to hear us.

Sincerely,

Brian L. Livingston

Executive Director, Arizona Police Association

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What’s on the table?

PSPRS

The COLA is based on a market value assumption. This is important because the existing Excess Earnings Fund will be able to pay out a COLA for the next two years but after that it may 15-20 years before another COLA is issued.

Employees will be expected to pay 11.65% contribution rate in three years. No reduction in this rate is delineated.

Drop is eliminated for those with 5 years or less service. Those between 5-20 years will have to pay contributions into the fund when they enter DROP with interest rates dropping on these accounts. Those with 20 years of more service no change in DROP.

Return to work – Penalty payment assessed.

Commission of a class five felony (not conviction) – pension is forfeited

Military and in-state service – prior service purchase restriction (purchase must be initiated before the bill takes effect)

They are also going to study disability payments to all persons so classified in the next two years. This means there is a possibility that disability pensions will be targeted in the future for reduction or elimination. The study will also examine defined contribution options, the definition of compensation, consolidation of local boards, and merging 401(a) Plan options.

It is expected that the bill will pass out of the committee. Although committee members may not agree with the bill (as was the case with HB2726), there will more than likely be enough “aye” votes to pass it on. If that is the case, it will move to House Rules, then onto the Caucus and COW.

You are urged to not only contact the committee members before the hearing at 2:00 p.m., but also contact the Representative within your legislative district. You can click HERE to find your legislative district and Representative.