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Dallas Pension System May End Deferred Retirement Program for Police, Firefighters

January 16, 2015  | 

The most lucrative perk of the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System isn’t retired yet, but it is taking some time off.

Beginning April 1, police officers and firefighters no longer can enter the Deferred Retirement Option Plan, known as DROP. The plan is meant to keep officers and firefighters with more than 20 years of experience from retiring too young by redirecting their pension earnings to an account that guarantees a high annual interest rate.

Those in the system by that date will remain there and continue reaping the rewards. The indefinite suspension for new entrants will begin because DROP is becoming too expensive, and a court recently threw out the pension board’s plan to fix it.

The pension board voted to appeal the court’s decision and to cut off new DROP entries in the meantime. But as board members and city officials look for alternatives, officers and pension officials say halting DROP could deal a blow to the city’s ability to retain and recruit officers and firefighters.

Dallas Police Association president Ron Pinkston told the Dallas Morning News the result could be “a pension system that is just adequate.”


Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

kevCopAz @ 1/17/2015 8:02 AM

We have a DROP also, I was in it before retirement. We could only do it for a 5 year period and HAD to retire at the end of the period or we would lose the interest and the money would just remain in the system. This was a wonderful retirement benefit and if done correctly is a major way to retain senior officers and in the long run save $ for the tax payer in training and hiring etc. Another requirement was that once retired an officer was prohibited from working for the same agency, stopping the double dipping that we were accused of. This did not stop the officer from working as a LEO for another agency, but they could NOT re-enter the retirement system for LEOs but instead would have to pay social security and enter another form of retirement civilian retirement system. I saw many, including myself, remain with a department past the 20 years to take advantage of DROP. I & others would have left at 20 otherwise gaining a new paying job with a raise of 50% in retirement $ too.

kevCopAz @ 1/17/2015 8:10 AM

If done correctly this can work for both cop & citizen. I think its the time period that DROP can take p[lace and when one can be in the program that can in danger DROP. I am not sure of this but I had heard that Houston had a 10 year period for DROP and then heard some agencies don't even have a time period on DROP at all. This causes the program to cost way too much $. Say one DROPs at 20 years and works for another 13 or 15 years (as I did) the end result would be way too high and entered the point where the program can't handle the expense. A version of DROP, a shorter period one could take advantage, can and does work well. I would guess that a compromise is the best choice not eliminating DROP. Since most departments have not given cops/fire raises DROP was a way to make up for this. If DROP went away, then most cops would run away ASAP at 20 years and we would lose all that training and experience…very costly in the long run to the public.

Ima Leprechaun @ 1/17/2015 7:17 PM

Drop never existed in my time. But whatever works.

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