SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Springfield voters decided on the police and firefighters pension system today, November 5.
The city asked whether the 3/4 cent sales tax should continue.
The tax will sunset either within five years or when the pension system is fully funded.
78% of voters chose to keep the tax while 22% wanted it to end, making the support for the pension overwhelming.
The system is currently 80% funded and covers about 800 men and women right now.
There will not be any new members of the pension plan.
Springfield Police Officers Association President Chris Welsh says all the pension members rely on the tax to get them by after they retire.
“The pension needs to be fully funded to carry out the longevity of the officers that are still on it,” Welsh said. “We still have officers on it another 10 years that are going to be living another you know 60 years, possibly. And we don’t collect social security we don’t have any other type of pension once we retire so, this gets us by.”
The city does have an obligation to honor current members’ pension plan requirements for as long as they live, even if the sales tax sunsets before the fund reaches 100%.