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Partly Cloudy
Tuesday 0%
High 77° / Low 53°
Partly Cloudy
Partly cloudy. High 76F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.
Rain
Wednesday 100%
High 54° / Low 43°
Rain
Cloudy with periods of rain. High 54F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 100%. Rainfall near a half an inch.
Partly Cloudy
Thursday 20%
High 69° / Low 46°
Partly Cloudy
Some sun in the morning with increasing clouds during the afternoon. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 69F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph.
Clear
Friday 0%
High 68° / Low 46°
Clear
Sunny. High 68F. Winds NNW at 10 to 15 mph.
Clear
Saturday 0%
High 74° / Low 50°
Clear
Sunny skies. High 74F. Winds light and variable.
Clear
Sunday 0%
High 77° / Low 58°
Clear
Mostly sunny skies. High 77F. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph.
Partly Cloudy
Monday 0%
High 77° / Low 62°
Partly Cloudy
Partly cloudy. Gusty winds in the afternoon. High 77F. Winds S at 20 to 30 mph.

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Raytown Police Chief Jim Lynch Letter to the editor

Raytown Police Correct Inaccurate Police Pension Information

 Raytown, MO – Raytown Police Chief Jim Lynch took an opportunity today (01-06-15) to correct inaccurate information regarding the Raytown Police Pension, which was published in the December 17, 2014 issue of the Raytown Times.  The inaccurate information was listed at the top of page 4, in volume 5, issue 40.

The opinion article, written by Randy Battagler, refers to officers potentially collecting “double pay.”  Officers may only earn a maximum benefit of 60% of their pay (life annuity.)  Those that serve our city longer, wait to receive their pension benefit and retire later, will receive a higher monthly payment.  If an officer retires earlier, their monthly pension payment is lower.  Similar to Social Security benefits, the monthly payment is impacted by how soon an officer retires, after reaching retirement eligibility age.  Taking an early retirement means a lesser monthly payment, and waiting to retire means an increased monthly payment.  However, the maximum benefit, 60%, does not change.  Some officers may have other retirement income, unrelated to the Raytown Police Pension, which could include Social Security, military retirement benefits, and individually-owned income products (IRA’s, etc.)

Mr. Battagler asserted that, “Without contributions from participants the fund had fallen well short of the amount it needed to be solvent.”  There were many factors that impacted the unfunded liability of the Police Pension, including stock market downturns and intermittent payments by former city finance directors.  The unfunded liability must still be paid, regardless of the City moving the Police Officers to LAGERS.    In fact, the LAGERS plan costs more (approximately 12% of payroll) than the former Police Pension plan (approximately 8%.) Even after the unfunded liability has been paid, the LAGERS plan, which has added benefits including cost of living adjustments, will be more expensive than the Police Pension plan.

Mr. Battagler also said that “without the change the city could have faced bankruptcy.”  That is simply not the case.  It was the belief by some that the former Police Pension plan was unsustainable, which prompted the discussion, and subsequent change, not the threat of the plan failing or causing bankruptcy.

In fact, the Police Pension plan is performing very well in the current economic environment.  Since 2008, when the stock market downturn hurt almost every pension plan, the Police Pension plan funded status has increased every year, with contributions decreasing or remaining the same as a percent of pay in that same period.

Chief Lynch is committed to transparency and openness.  The Raytown Police Pension Board meetings have always been, and remain, open meetings.  The schedules of Pension Board meetings are posted in the Police Department lobby, as well as the Police Department News blog, RPD News Room (http://piorpd.wordpress.com/) for the public and media to view any time.

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