May 6, 2022
Hello DPROA Members,
Next Thursday, May 12th, the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System is scheduled to hold one of two required public meetings. This would be a good time for our members to show up in person to hear firsthand how your pension is being managed and is performing. If you recall back in 2017, House Bill 3158 was supposed to be the “Fix” necessary to return our plan to sound financial footing. We are quickly approaching a critical period when our system will be audited by an independent actuarial firm with a report back to the State. Who knows what actions may be required if our system continues to falter. We have already heard excuses like we knew 3158 was not a “Fix” but it was a “Bridge.” So, even with all the cuts to retiree benefits, the seizure of DROP Accounts, the majority control of the board going to the City, and active employees paying more in contributions for less of a pension benefit, are we getting the desired result? What has this new form of “Governance” accomplished?
While retirees receive less and active employees pay more, the only ones benefitting seems to be the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System staff. Now, don’t get me wrong, the staff deserves a fair wage and a financially sound pension, but in March 2021, the Logic Compensation Group, a company hired by DP&FP, reported that many of the DP&FP staff receive compensation beyond the “Market Median/Market Average.” In the January 2022, DP&FP Board Meeting during discussions with trustees regarding the proposed approval of a Staff Compensation Plan, Executive Director Kelly Gottschalk explained to the trustees how she intended to pay an employee who is already being paid above the “Grade Maximum” by paying them with a onetime increase that is not calculated into their “Base Salary.” In addition, DP&FP has convinced the Board of Trustees to approve moving the staff to a new pension plan with the Texas Municipal Retirement System which will guarantee them a monthly pension check.
Why is it that after 5 years of improved governance, reduced benefits for active and retired first responders and increased contributions by actives we continue to see the system struggling? Where is the “Fix” we were all promised?
Now we learn that only one person has submitted their application to serve as a Non-Member Board Trustee for an election that may require at least three candidates to fill the slate. If anyone knows of a person with the necessary qualifications to serve, please invite them to apply. The qualifications and necessary forms to apply can be found at https://www.dpfp.org/-News-_-Events-/Recent-News/. The deadline is May 11, 2022.
I hope to see you there.
Dallas Police Retired Officers Association