In total, actions already taken by the Mayor and City Council and the COPERS board, and actions approved by Phoenix voters, are expected to save a cumulative $830 million by 2038 in both the City of Phoenix Employees’ Retirement Systems (COPERS) or, for sworn police or fire employees, the state-managed Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS).
In addressing the continued challenges presented by COPERS and PSPRS, the City Council approved a contract with Buck Consultants to study local and national pension reform trends and develop further options for pension reform, and a contract with the Segal Company to model the impact of such proposals.
Buck has identified several desirable outcomes of further pension reform:
- additional cost savings;
- alignment with best practices;
- attraction and retention of employees;
- litigation avoidance; and
- improvement of the funding positions of COPERS and PSPRS.
Given City Council authorization spring 2014 to continue to analyze and develop possible changes to the pension system, City staff worked with consultants to develop potential packages that could meet the goals of pension reform. Either of these packages would require changes to the City Charter, which would require the City Council to refer the changes to the voters in a future election. These packages were considered at the July 2, 2014 Formal meeting and were not forwarded to the voters for the November election. To learn more about the concepts considered in June and July 2014, please see the following reports: