Former Macon Police and Firemen filled city hall Monday afternoon, seeking answers about the proposed changes to their pension plan. After nearly three hours of debate, the pension board tabled the changes until all parties can get on the same page.
This pension fund is the livelihood for more than 1300 retired police and firemen they don't draw social security so this money sustains many of them.
After the IRS informed the city it needed to comply with modern standards back in January of 2011, the city made a number of changes and sent those to the IRS for analysis.
Many retirees worry the language in the proposed changes could cut their retirement by 30 to 50 percent. The pension board's attorney says the changes would allow the city to terminate the plan when it is not 100 percent funded and could mean a lot less money for retirees. Mayor Reichert says he's never considered terminating the plan.
"My intent is and my motivation, 100 percent good faith, 100 percent good faith to keep that plan, the police and fire pension plan as well as the general employees plan actuarial sound. So that it pays out every benefit to which every member of the plan is entitled."
Board Chairman Lynn Wood wants to cover all the bases before city council votes to make any changes.
"I'm certainly not putting any pressure on the Mayor for this, I believe he does have the best intentions but we need to know everything that's being recommended right now so, we need to know the numbers, and make sure everything is written in there correctly."
Mayor Reichert told the board the IRS required changes are due in October; giving the city and the board more time to work through issues.
The board decided to set up a special called meeting with all parties involved including Pension Board attorneys and the city's legal department.