FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 03/13/2019
Representative Flynn applauds Texas Supreme Court Victory for Dallas Police and Fire Pension Plan
Austin, TX – This week the Texas Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System in a lawsuit brought by retirees. As Chairman of the House Pensions Committee, Representative Flynn passed a bill to reform the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Plan which ultimately put the plan on a path to solvency. Representative Flynn praised the decision handed down by the Texas Supreme Court to side with the pension plan.
Prior to the reform, the City’s credit rating had been downgraded three times in two years, specifically because of their unsustainable pensions; however, within a year of the reform, their credit rating increased. Representative Flynn’s bill both increased contributions and decreased benefits to pay down the plan’s unfunded liability over time.
Retirees enrolled in the system had argued their constitutional rights were violated when in 2014 the plan had reduced the interest rate on their Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) accounts. They argued the interest rate was a protected benefit under the Texas Constitution, but the court disagreed. The plan was put in jeopardy by overly generous benefits it could not pay for, specifically high interest rate DROP accounts.
“I understand the importance of retirement plans for public servants that dedicated their lives to protecting our communities, and the importance of that benefit as a recruitment tool for the next generation. However, to be prudent with taxpayer dollars, we cannot promise more than can be paid out, and we cannot let the pension plans become so unstable that they effect the bond rating for the city. My goal was to ensure the plan is able to continue providing retirement for the retirees, current employees, and future employees; and that goal was accomplished. I applaud the Texas Supreme Court's decision to support the plan on their path toward solvency.” – Representative Flynn
Representative Dan Flynn is currently serving his ninth term as the State Representative for House District 2, which includes Hopkins, Hunt, and Van Zandt counties. He serves as Chairman of the Defense & Veterans' Affairs Committee, and as a member of the House Administration Committee and the House Committee on Pensions, Investments, and Financial Services.