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DROP Benefits Can Be Prospectively Reduced

The Dallas Police and Fire Pension System (DROP) provides comprehensive retirement, death, and disability benefits for some 9,300 Dallas police officers, firefighters, pensioners, and qualified survivors. Officers and firefighters automatically become System members when they enter the training academy. While in active service, they and the City of Dallas contribute to their accounts. A member reaching retirement age can leave active service and begin drawing a monthly annuity based…

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DROP Payments Cannot Be Used To Offset Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Carroll Thiergartner was a Baltimore County firefighter for 33 years. During his active employment, Thiergartner participated in the County’s Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP). At the time of his retirement, he opted to receive a lump-sum payment from his DROP account. In May 2010, nearly five years after he retired, Thiergartner began to develop chest pain. Thiergartner was found to have a 99 percent occlusion of two arteries, conditions…

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DROP Benefits Are Mandatory For Bargaining

Local 293 of the International Association of Fire Fighters represents firefighters working for the City of Erie, Pennsylvania. A clause of Local 293’s collective bargaining agreement provided that the firefighters’ pension fund “shall be governed in accordance with statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and City of Erie ordinances or regulations now presently in effect and promulgated.” In 2004, the City enacted an amendment to its ordinances to provide…

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DROP Plan Does Not Violate State Pension Law

The Borough of Ellwood City, Pennsylvania and the Ellwood City Police Department Wage and Policy Committee (Union) are parties to a collective bargaining agreement. The agreement gave the parties 180 days to negotiate a Deferred Retirement Option Plan, or DROP. When no agreement on the terms of a DROP was reached, the Union referred the matter to arbitration. An arbitration board issued an award directing the Borough to modify…

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DROP Participants Do Not Lose Sick Leave

The Ross Township, Pennsylvania Police Department and the Ross Township Police Association are parties to a collective bargaining agreement. In December 2007, an arbitrator resolved all differences between the Township and the Association as to open negotiations issues. One element of the Arbitrator’s award was a deferred retirement option plan, known as a DROP plan. Under the DROP plan, officers would retire and immediately return to work. Retiring officers…

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