Sioux Falls city employees approved pension changes—a move the mayor is calling a milestone for city government.
Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether announced Wednesday city employees voted in favor of the pension changes for current employees. The vote means employees approved paying two percent more to fund pensions and future retirees will no longer participate in the City's self-insured health and dental plan.
Under the workers' approval, instead of participating in the City's plan, employees retiring after December 31, 2013, will receive a monthly stipend to use toward purchasing their own insurance.
Mayor Huether also said his office is still working with the South Dakota Retirement System to allow for future city employees to become members of the SDRS.
According to the City of Sioux Falls, the pension changes are consistent with national trends and are estimated to save Sioux Falls' taxpayers approximately $104 million over the next 30 years.
"The financial trends associated with the liabilities of the two pension plans were not sustainable," City Human Resources Director Bill O'Toole said. "Reasonable and pro-active solutions today will serve to reduce and stabilize the City's contribution rates and ensure the pension plan's long-term viability."
O'Toole added, the changes will not jeopardize the City's overall compensation and benefits objectives.
"We will continue to be able to attract and retain highly qualified employees and provide an adequate level of retirement security," O'Toole said.
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