The settlement agreement between the Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension Fund and the city itself, of what was to be pending litigation, exemplifies the politics of the possible.
It isn’t pretty. But if (and it’s not really an “if”) the ordinance (2016-80) authorizing it, filed last week by the council president with a formal introduction Tuesday, is approved by City Council it will go a long way toward delivering a much needed coda to the John Keane era.
The issue is the Senior Staff Retirement Plan, which affected three people. Formed without council’s knowledge in 2000 by the PFPF, it was figured out a dozen years later, at which time the city’s general counsel and the counsel for the PFPF disagreed on whether or not the fund had the authority to create such a plan.
Essentially, the agreement is one of the “let’s get this behind us and move on” variety. Within seven days of the agreement being executed, a joint statement will be issued to the effect of “dismissal with prejudice.”
As well, the agreement stipulates that Keane’s benefits will be adjusted, “as if” for the final three years of his employ he had “ceased participation in the Senior Plan and joined for the first time the General Employees Retirement Plan.”
Keane will get a 3 percent COLA increase this month, and will be responsible for $6,262.26 in repayments because of a lower contribution rate to the Senior Plan versus the GERP.
As well, survivor benefits will be established at 75 percent.
The settlement agreement is not an elegant or pretty solution. But it allows Jacksonville to avoid “protracted and costly litigation” with the Police and Fire Pension Fund.