Detroit pension board agrees to debt payment changes

May 19, 2011

Trustees of Detroit’s general retirement system have agreed to let the city spread out its debt payments over a longer period. It's just one of the changes the city’s mayor is seeking to balance the budget.

The change will save the city about $13 million, and if Detroit’s police and fire pension board trustees agree to a similar move, it bring the total savings to $65 million.

Mayor Dave Bing says the savings will help the city’s bottom line. But he says the city still needs pension and medical concessions from its employee unions. He’s given them a September 1 deadline to make those concessions.

"If in fact the unions want to delay those negotiations or elongate those negotiations, we’ll take the necessary actions to move forward," Bing said.

Bing says those actions could include layoffs. But he’s also warned that failure to get concessions could lead to the appointment of an emergency manager.