Detroit Due To Report Results From Pension Vote In Bankruptcy Court
By ED WHITE
DETROIT (AP) – The city of Detroit promised to report the results of voting on pension cuts Monday but declined to disclose the numbers during a morning bankruptcy hearing.
Attorney Heather Lennox said it “probably would be imprudent” to single out the results from thousands of city retirees and workers when there are many classes of creditors in the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.
“Not all of the tallies for all of the classes are completely nailed down. … We do intend to file the declaration” Monday, Lennox told Judge Steven Rhodes.
She declined to offer a specific time when asked outside court.
The outcome will have an impact on Detroit’s bankruptcy case, which goes to trial on Aug. 14. Support for pension changes would give the city a big boost as the judge decides whether the overall strategy is fair and feasible.
General retirees would see a 4.5 percent pension cut and lose annual inflation adjustments. Retired police officers and firefighters would lose a portion of their annual cost-of-living raise. Roughly 30,000 retirees and other people eligible for a pension were qualified to vote.
Approval of the pension changes would also trigger an extraordinary $816 million bailout from the state of Michigan, foundations and the Detroit Institute of Arts. The money would prevent the sale of city-owned art and avoid deeper pension cuts.
The average pension for police and fire retirees is $32,000 a year, while most other retired city workers get $19,000 to $20,000. Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr said pension changes are unfortunate but necessary because two pension funds are underfunded by billions.
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