There are plenty of problems with how Issue 4 privatizes the city’s pension system so future city employees suddenly have to manage their own individual retirement accounts.
That shifts the financial decision-making from a professional pension board to individuals who might not have the time or interest to keep tabs on the best retirement investments
But perhaps the most pressing concern is that Issue 4 would force the city to pay its $862 unfunded pension liability in just 10 years. The massive requirement would quickly gobble up more than one-fourth of the city’s $350 million annual operating budget: A study from a finance professor at Xavier University found Issue 4 could force the city to cut services, excluding police and firefighters, by up to 41 percent or increase taxes by a comparable amount in the near term.
It’s a terrible deal for Cincinnati. That’s why city officials, including both Democrats and Republicans, unanimously oppose it.
But that hasn’t stopped tea party groups — from outside the city and state, according to finance reports from the pro-Issue 4 campaign — from jamming the issue into Cincinnati’s ballot. It’s up to voters to say no on Nov. 5.