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City Provides FAQs on Nov. 5 Irving Charter Election

BY IRVING WEEKLY STAFF

Irving, Texas. October 29, 2019

The Irving City Council has called a Charter Election for Nov. 5, 2019 asking voters to consider removing language that limits the annual contributions for employee retirement benefits. The following questions and answers have been prepared to assist voters in understanding the purpose of the election.

WHAT IS THE BALLOT LANGUAGE?

Proposition A

The change relates to removal of limitations on contributions for retirement benefits. Art. IX, Sec. 8, the total annual amount of the City of Irving contribution for employee retirement benefits is removed.     

  • FOR
  • AGAINST

WHAT IS THE CURRENT CHARTER LANGUAGE?

Sec. 8. Employee retirement plan limitations.

For employees participating in the Irving Firemen's Relief and Retirement Fund or the Texas Municipal Retirement System, the total annual amount of the City of Irving contribution for retirement benefits for such employees shall not exceed 16.75% of the total annual salaries of such employees. This section shall not limit any federal or state mandated contributions to any retirement benefit provision over which the city has no discretion to provide the required benefit. Retirement benefits shall include a contribution to or for the Firemen's Relief and Retirement Fund and the Texas Municipal Retirement System, City of Irving Supplemental Benefit Plan, disability benefits, and medical insurance for retired employees.

DO ANY OTHER CITIES IN TEXAS HAVE A CHARTER LIMITATION ON RETIREMENT CONTRIBUTIONS?        

The City of Irving is the only city in the State of Texas with a Charter limitation on retirement benefit contributions. 

WHAT IS SP GLOBAL?

SP Global (formerly Standard & Poors) is a rating agency that provides ratings for funds the city borrows. 

WHAT IS THE CITY’S CURRENT CREDIT RATING FROM SP GLOBAL?

The City currently has an AAA credit rating for its General Obligation Bonds, the highest rating issued by SP Global. The rating for the last two years has included a negative outlook.    

WHAT WAS THE WORDING FROM THE JULY 2019 SP GLOBAL RATING REPORT RELATED TO THE CHARTER CAP?

The July 2019 SP Global Rating Report stated:

“The negative outlook reflects our view that the funded status of Irving's pension funds will continue to weaken given a charter cap that limits the city's contributions to 16.75% of payroll. Absent meaningful changes, the cap will result in underfunding of the plans and will overstate the city's financial performance.”  

IF THE PROPOSITION PASSES, WHO WILL CONTROL RETIREMENT CONTRIBUTIONS?

Any changes in retirement contributions would require City Council approval.

View Early Voting and Nov. 5 Election Information


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