Third consultant hired to help with Memphis pension problem - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Third consultant hired to help with Memphis pension problem

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

A third consultant has been hired to weigh in on the city of Memphis pension problem.

This consultant will sort through what the other two consultants have said, and give city council a third opinion.

The city administration hired one of the other consultants. The unions hired the other consultant.

Those consultants disagree on just how bad the pension problem is.

Mayor A C Wharton said Memphis needs pension reform. The unions say it's fine how it is but the pensions just need to be fully funded.

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Last week Mr. Wharton and several city council members traveled to Nashville to talk to the state comptroller and other legislators about funding the pension. Legislation mandating fully funding city pensions is expected to pass this session.

Memphis would have six years to ramp up to contributing about $100 million a year.

"To make those pension payments to the folks who get a pension we only have one place to go to get it, and that is to the taxpayers," Mayor Wharton said.

"That's the tough part about this issue," Councilman Jim Strickland said. "We're going to have to expend an extra $40-$80 million and the public is not going to see any benefit from that."

The mayor and the council will be talking about cuts versus a tax hike over the next few months.

The third consultant hired by city council to weigh in on just how bad this problem is will cost at least $45,000. The $45,000 will likely out of the pension fund.

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