Atlanta approves changes to retirement plan

ATLANTA — The Atlanta City Council on Wednesday unanimously voted to overhaul the city’s retirement plan.

The changes avoid the need for personnel reductions and service cuts, and puts the city on a more stable financial path for this year and the future, city officials contend.

The plan creates $22 million in savings the first year and allows the city to pay off a $1.5 billion unfunded pension liability. The measure saves the city more than $270 million over the next 10 years, and more than $500 million over 30 years, officials said.

“One year ago, the City of Atlanta’s pension plan could fairly be compared to a sub-prime loan in which the city was investing $110 million per year without one penny of that amount going to pay down its $1.5 billion unfunded pension liability,” Mayor Kasim Reed said in a statement. “Today, because of the courage of the Atlanta City Council and the women and men who work for the City of Atlanta, we have faced this problem head-on, and through shared responsibility, we have taken a critical groundbreaking step toward resolving it.”

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