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Big changes are coming for members of El Paso police and fire departments

City of El Paso police officers and firefighters will soon be making more of an investment in their future.

City Council Tuesday unanimously approved an amendment increasing the annual active member contribution rate to the El Paso Firemen and Policemen’s pension fund.

Tyler Grossman, the executive director of the El Paso Firemen and Policemen’s pension fund, was at the City Council meeting.

“It was an increase, and more importantly, an increase in contributions to be the first fire and police pension fund to match the City at 18 percent. So the fire and police members will be raising their contributions to pay for this benefit and coming up with an additional amount to match the city in contributions to the fund,” Grossman said.

Before the amendment was approved, members of the police department were contributing 15.2 percent and members of the fire department were contributing 13.8 percent.

Depending on the salary of the employee, the change adds up to an $8 to $15 increase per pay period. The first increase will happen in September 2018.

“This was accepted because this was unheard of. We were asking nothing from the city. The members took this upon themselves to make their funds stronger,” said Grossman.

There was another big change benefiting second-tier employees. Council approved lowering the mandatory time and age for retirement to 20 years of service and 45 years of age.

Those numbers dropped from 25 years of service and 50 years of age. The process to change City’s pension plan for police and firefighters took more than a year.

“With the fine benefit that they have, our fire and police members are guaranteed to never be homeless or hungry. That’s what it is there for, to make sure that they have a respectable retirement. They served their city and they can move on and do other things in life that are not as stressful as this work is,” Grossman said.

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