Changes In Ohio Police And Fire Pensions Will Hurt Retirees Most

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Athens Fire Chief Robert Troxel says he understands changes being made in the Ohio Police and Fire Pension fund but fears it will hurt retirees the most.

"When you tag the people who are retired that could impact them a lot," Troxel said. "They get used to living on a fixed amount."

The state board overseeing pensions for Ohio police and firefighters reached a deal that aligns the fund with state law while raising costs and lowering benefits by $570 million.

The agreement by the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund board puts the fund in compliance with a law requiring its obligations be paid off within 30 years.

Troxel said the hit to those paying into the fund is less of a concern for those still working.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the deal reached Wednesday would require police and firefighters to contribute an additional 1 percent of their pay one year earlier than planned.

The agreement also reduces annual cost-of-living adjustments for retirees by 0.75 percent.

The plan goes next to the Ohio Retirement Study Council and ultimately to state lawmakers.

The fund services more than 50,000 current and retired members.

The Athens Fire Department and Athens Police Department will be affected by the changes.