St. Louis firefighter pension reform bill stalls in committee

Jun 7, 2012

The bulk of Mayor Francis Slay’s firefighter pension reform bill stalled today in the St. Louis Board of Alderman’s Public Safety Committee.

The committee passed a provision barring trustees of the Firemen’s Retirement System from suing the city over the design or benefits of the pension plan. But the committee postponed voting on major reforms that would make firefighters to pay more into the system and prevent retirement until age 55.

Alderman Larry Arnowitz says he’s certain if reform passes, firefighters will fight the changes in court.

“I’m glad we’re putting it off for another two weeks," he said. "I mean it’s been put off for ten years. Two more weeks… and we’ll go from there. And I definitely think we’ll get sued.”

City officials say pension reform is urgent as payments have skyrocketed by more than 500 percent in the last 10 years. Alderman Greg Carter, chair of the committee, said he would hold another hearing on the bill next week.