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Was it constitutional for Proposition 124 to replace PSPRS' permanent benefit increases with a capped 2% COLA?

In this blog I and multiple commenters have broached the subject of the suspect constitutionality of PSPRS' replacement of the old perma...

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Whose ox is going to get gored: PSPRS reform efforts that everyone needs to see

It is a lot to read, but this is of interest to everyone that has a stake in PSPRS because it will determine your future cost of living alllowances (COLA), if your retired, or your future paychecks, if you are still working.  The PSPRS Special Board of Trustees Meeting from June 5, 2014 has several actuarial studies that show the impact of various changes to the COLA formulation that could occur, but more interesting is the proposal put forth by the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona (PFFA).

Starting on page 31 of the PDF documents is a Powerpoint presentation produced by PFFA entitled, "Fixing the PSPRS Pension Fund."  My preliminary reading of this document makes me, particularly as a current employee with quite a few years until I retire, very uneasy about what is about to be proposed and possibly sent to Arizona's voters for approval.  If I was a retiree, I would also be very concerned.  This looks like a proposal that will benefit those closest to retirement at the expense of those with many more years to work. This Arizona Republic from June 5, 2014 article, Arizona pension board seeks special session, shows that the PSPRS has not endorsed the PFFA plan but does want the Arizona legislature to begin considering some kind of changes.

This document is too large to cover in one post, and parts of it, particularly the actuarial studies, will need a much closer analysis.  However, I am interested in any comments, especially from active or retired law enforcement personnel about how they feel, so please comment if you have anything to add.  The Scribd document follows.


  1. Seems like a fairly sound plan to me. Obviously, we all take a bit of a hit, but it seems like something has to give to make this sustainable going forward. Not thrilled with the idea of 11.65% being permanent, or that I'll be paying 4% to pay the retirees their COLAs, when my best guess says that I may never see those COLAs. It feels like social security a bit to me... Pay in your whole life, and sit back and watch the retirement age climb higher and higher. I am interested to see that they are proposing DROP (or ESFIIPP... whatever it is now) be brought back for all active members... A nice gesture for the new guys and future generations.

    That said, kudos on your blog, I enjoy it. I try to stay informed on pension issues, but don't always know where to find updates. I appreciate your research and your take on the issues.

  2. Thank you for your comment and for reading. I apologize for the delay in replying. I have several reservations about this proposal, although it looks like it has been put on the back burner for right now since it appears that there will be no special session called. My reservations have mostly to do with taking the current pay of one generation to pay for the retirement of another. Hopefully, I can address these in more detail in the near future.


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