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Pension funding a real problem

June 2, 2012
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

In 2005, Cape Coral taxpayer's contributed about $10.8 million to the city's three Pension Plans. That is General Employees, Police and Fire.

In the 2011 fiscal year, that contribution grew to $22.7 million. That is more than double. You can check that out by looking at the City's Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports.

In spite of that doubling of contributions, the "Unfunded" Actuarial Liability grew from $52.9 million to $198.1 million or almost four times as much as the 2005 "Unfunded" liability. A year earlier, that "Unfunded Liability" stood at $176.5 million. In other words it grew from $176.5 million to $198.1 million in just the past year. It got a lot worse, not better.

But wait, didn't the City's Finance director say the city didn't have any Pension problems, that she had it covered and that talk about a problem was unwarranted? The City's Finance director complained that people on the City's Financial Advisory Committee (and that includes me) were asking too many questions about how the city would find the money to assure that all future city pensioners would receive the pensions they were promised and as a result, six City Council members voted to eliminate the Committee. It was "Shoot the Messenger" if you do not like the message.

Let me repeat, "The Pension Mess got worse, not better" and we are still heading for a cliff unless something changes.

Step 1 is you recognize you have a problem. Step 2 is you seek help in coming up with possible solutions which the former FAC was never allowed to provide.

Sal Grosso

Cape Coral



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