Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether announced that City of Sioux Falls employees voted to approve pension changes for current employees. The affirmative vote represents a major milestone in one of the City’s top ten projects.

“I am so proud that City employees recognized the need for pension changes. Their positive vote was an incredible sign they wanted to be a part of the solution,” Mayor Huether said. “The pension topic is a tough issue, but it was necessary to tackle it head-on. We had great leadership and teamwork between the pension boards, our actuarial consultants, the City Council, and our employees.” The pension changes are consistent with national trends and are estimated to save Sioux Falls’ taxpayers approximately $104 million over the next 30 years.

Human Resources Director Bill O’Toole stated, “The financial trends associated with the liabilities of the two pension plans were not sustainable. Reasonable and proactive solutions today will serve to reduce and stabilize the City’s contribution rates and ensure the pension plans’ long-term viability.” O’Toole said changes will not jeopardize the City’s overall compensation and benefits objectives, adding, “We will continue to be able to attract and retain highly qualified employees and provide an adequate level of retirement security.”

The vote this week means employees approved paying two percent more to fund pensions and that future retirees would no longer participate in the City’s self-insured health/dental plan. 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.

In addition to the pension changes for current employees, Mayor Huether stated his administration is continuing to work with the South Dakota Retirement System (SDRS) to identify the necessary actions that would allow for future City employees to become members of the SDRS.

Mayor Huether will hold a press conference on Friday, September 21, 2012, at City Hall in the First Floor Commission Room at 10:30 a.m.

Courtesy of the City of Sioux Falls