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Urban policy -- Oregon -- Portland -- Periodicals, Portland (Or.) -- Politics and government -- Periodicals, Portland (Or.) -- Social conditions -- Periodicals


Portland’s Fire and Police Disability and Retirement Fund (FPD&R) is a combined pension and disability system that serves Portland's sworn fire and police employees. The fund is governed by a board of trustees that includes public officials, representatives from the police and fire unions and citizen representatives.

The fund is likely the last pay-as- you-go system in the United States. As such, current property tax revenue, rather than investment income, is used to pay the pension and disability benefits for retirees and injured firefighters and police officers. Because the pension system is not pre-funded, the ongoing financial viability of the fund has been an issue of public concern for many years. Annual pension and disability spending has increased from $49.8 million to $75.4 million in the past 10 years. The unfunded liability of future pensions is currently $1.684 billion and will continue to grow to $8.4 billion in about 40 years. Local media have also raised concerns about the high rate of disabilities in Portland's fire and police bureaus and loopholes that allow injured employees to receive double compensation, which has increased public scrutiny of the system.

In response to these concerns, Mayor Tom Potter appointed a nine-person independent review committee (IRC) in February 2005 to evaluate options to fully or partially pre-fund the pension system. In addition, City Council charged the IRC with examining the case management and costs of FPD&R's disability system. Your committee was charged with shadowing the IRC's work while conducting its own research in order to comment publicly on the IRC's recommendations to City Council.

Published in City Club of Portland Bulletin Vol. 87, No. 36

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