3:29pm

Wed June 8, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Police & Fire Retirees Get Pay Raise

Lexington's retired public safety workers can expect to receive more pension money each month to offset an increase in the cost of living. More than 900 retirees in the Lexington Police and Fire Retirement Fund will see a 2.6% cost of living adjustment.

At Wednesday's board meeting of the police and fire retirement fund, retired police officer Tommy Puckett proposed a 3.4% increase based on the latest consumer price index. Police Chief Ronnie Bastin said he could not support that amount, because active police and firefighters likely won't be getting raises this year.

"I don't have a crystal ball, but with the financial condition that the city is in, I don't think we're looking at a bright prospect for any increases in salary or benefits for our active employees."

The annual cost of living adjustment for Lexington's retired public safety employees must fall between two and five percent. Mayor Jim Gray suggested that the cost of living adjustment stay at the required legal minimum.

Police Lt. J. J. Lombardi then urged his fellow pension board members to reach a middle ground with 2.6%

"In the best interest of this government in the position it's in, and in the best interest of these retirees, compromise would be the best choice."

The pension plan has an unfunded liability of around $200 million but has seen positive growth over the past year.