Pensacola police pension fund to be closed to new hires

Pensacola (Fla.) Police Officers' Retirement Fund will be closed to new hires effective Jan. 1.

Police officers hired after that date will be eligible to join the $127 billion Florida Retirement System, Tallahassee, according to a news release from Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward.

“Over the last 10 years, the city's annual pension costs have increased fivefold to more than $16 million a year,” Mr. Hayward said in the release. “That's more than we collect in ad valorem taxes, and that's simply not sustainable.”

The change will save the city $7 million to $10 million in liabilities, according to Mr. Hayward.

In the city's 2011 comprehensive annual report, the most recent available, the city lists the police fund's assets at $60 million with liabilities of $71 million.

Phone calls to Mr. Hayward and Richard Barker Jr., city chief financial officer, were not returned by press time.