Dallas police/fire pension fund suspends withdrawals after near-catastrophic run

Dallas police/fire pension fund suspends withdrawals after near-catastrophic run
Texas governor's mansion lighted in blue after the slaying of policemen in in Dallas. (Image: Gov Greg Abbott, Instagram)

[Ed. – This would be a scarier situation if the circumstances were different.  Texas Governor Greg Abbott has chops in his own right.  And a problem like this could be tailor-made for advice and negotiation support from the Trump team.  Serious public pension shortfalls like this have been looming for some time; setting a standard for dealing with it while he still has yet to take office may be the best of all possible worlds for Trump.  One thing’s for sure: Obama is utterly incapable of addressing it in any meaningful, structural way.]

The Dallas Police and Fire Pension System’s Board of Trustees suspended lump-sum withdrawals from the pension fund Thursday, staving off a possible restraining order and stopping $154 million in withdrawal requests.

The system was set to pay out the weekly requests Friday. Pension officials said allowing the withdrawals would leave them without the liquid reserves required to sustain the $2.1 billion fund.

“Our situation is currently critical, and we took action,” board chairman Sam Friar said.

Pension officials and many police and firefighters have blamed Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings for forcing the latest run on the bank. Dozens of retirees rushed to request withdrawals after Rawlings filed a lawsuit Monday to stop the withdrawals.

By then, more than $500 million had already gushed from the fund since the board proposed benefit cuts in August.

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