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Retirements Increase Due to Issue 4

Updated: Monday, November 4 2013, 09:20 PM EST
HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio (Jeff Hirsh) -- Local 12 News has learned that an
unusually high number of City of Cincinnati employees have retired
early, afraid of benefit cuts if Issue 4 is passed by the voters
Tuesday. 

And an even larger number has put in tentative retirement papers, which they can withdraw if Issue 4 fails.
 
Issue
4 would replace the citys defined benefit pension plan with a 401K
system similar to what is used in private industry for new employees,
and limit benefits for existing city workers. 

Backers, who got
the issue on the ballot with a petition drive, say the changes are
needed to keep Cincinnati from becoming another Detroit,  overwhelmed by
pension expenses.   But opponents, which includes both Cincinnati
mayoral candidates, say Issue 4 would actually make things worse,
leading to tax hikes, service cuts, and layoffs.
 
According to
the citys retirement system, 8-10 city employees retire in an average
month.  But effective November 1, 47 city workers had retired.  In
addition, the retirement system tells us, another 130 workers put in
tentative retirements, which can be withdrawn if Issue 4 fails.
 
One
of those submitting a tentative retirement is Barry Whitton, a civilian
information technology expert with the police department, who
supervised installation and operation of 150 anti-crime surveillance
cameras citywide. 

Whitton, who has been with the city for 34
years, says he could lose $20,000 a year from his retirement benefits if
Issue 4 passes. Whitton says he does not want to retire.

"I really have projects that I'm involved in, that I want to complete," he says. "I like my job, I like my work."



Watch video HERERetirements Increase Due to Issue 4


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