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Missouri state auditor puts Joplin Fire and Police Departments p - KOAM TV 7

Missouri state auditor puts Joplin Fire and Police Departments pension plan on watch list

Updated:
The office of the Missouri State Auditor considered three criteria when reviewing the financial health of the Joplin police and fire pension plan, as well as others across the state:

There has to be more than 200 people under the plan, it has to be less than 70 percent funded, and/or the ARC, or the required contributions of the employer, is less than 95 percent.  

"We looked at a couple of the features or statistics off of each plan and did an internal ranking to come up with this watch list," said Harry Otto, deputy state auditor.

The Joplin Police and Fire plan was at 54 percent funded at the end of 2012, the year the state auditor based his report.  

"We know that the funding status is not where we want it to be, but we know that we're headed in the right direction," said Leslie Hasse, Joplin Finance Director.

Joplin finance director Leslie Hasse says there has been about a five percent increase in the plan since 2012, partly due to a $1 million contribution the city made to the plan.  

But according to the state auditor's office, a financially healthy pension plan is still much higher.  

"In the high seventies or low eights is what's generally considered to be a very favorable funding percentage," said Otto.

Hasse said this is the goal and the police and fire plan is on the upswing.

"We believe we will eventually reach the 80 percent funding status but it just takes time," she says. "It takes time to come out of that level of funding."

She says the city of Joplin continues to monitor the pension plans closely.


At the end of 2012, the required contributions the city of Joplin made to the pension plan was at 112 percent.


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