Conn. Town Gets Union Agreement on DC for DB Switch

October 5, 2009 ( - Officials of a Connecticut community have hammered out an agreement with an employee union to drop a pension plan in favor of a defined contribution plan.

A news report in the Register Citizen of Torrington, Connecticut, said the latest benefits pact was with the city managers union with whom the city has been in talks since July 2008. The agreement makes the union the fourth out of seven representing city employees to agree to eliminate pensions.

The city managers union joins the organizations representing the city’s firefighters, management resolution staff, non-manager city employees, and emergency dispatchers in eliminating pensions. The new plan applies only to new hires in those departments.

“We made ourselves very clear on management side that we wanted to implement this,” said Mayor Ryan Bingham, in the news report. “It really is revolutionary in a sense. Typically government pensions are the most rich in terms of cost. We wanted to move more to a private sector model.”

Bingham said that the lagging economy has resulted in arbitration cases ruling in the favor of cities and municipalities, so unions are more willing to make concessions.

“I think they knew that this was a goal of ours, and they saw other unions agreeing to it. The writing was on the wall that this was good for the residents,” he told the newspaper.