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Lawmakers work on public safety pension system

Posted at 9:19 AM, Nov 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-26 11:19:48-05

PHOENIX (AP) - A plan to overhaul the state's woefully underfunded pension plan for public safety workers is nearing completion.
    
Republican state Sen. Debbie Lesko of Peoria says a deal is close after months of meetings between lawmakers, pension officials, firefighter and police unions and cities, towns and other public agencies that pay into the system.
    
The issue is pressing as public agencies that pay into the system have seen their pension contribution rates soar to an average of 42 percent of the salary paid to each police officer or firefighter in the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System.
    
The pension fund now has only half the cash it needs to pay promised benefits.
    
Lesko says she hopes to have a deal that lowers costs for lawmakers to vote on in the coming session.