Study: Police, firefighter pensions $976M short

CHARLESTON (AP) — A new study says West Virginia cities must find $976 million in coming years if they want to keep promises made to retiring police and firefighters.

The Charleston Daily Mail reports that much of the shortfall can be traced to a state law passed in 1991 that allowed cities to reduce payments to police and firefighter retirement funds. Most cities took this option.

The Michigan-based actuarial firm Gabriel, Roeder, Smith and Co. says that as a result, those cities will require a significantly higher level of contributions in the near future to reach a more secure status. The police and firefighter pension plans in cities that took the reprieve two decades ago are just 22 percent funded, while localities that stuck with the standard contributions are 44 percent funded.

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