Chief Sponsor: Todd Weiler

House Sponsor: Timothy D. Hawkes


10     General Description:
11          This concurrent resolution encourages a pay increase for the public safety officers and
12     firefighters who are Tier II retirement system members.
13     Highlighted Provisions:
14          This resolution:
15          ▸     recognizes the vital roles of public safety officers and firefighters;
16          ▸     recognizes the necessity of creating the Tier II retirement system in order to stabilize
17     participating employers' pension funding obligations and control future retirement
18     benefit costs;
19          ▸     acknowledges that starting wages for public safety officers and firefighters are
20     below market starting wages;
21          ▸     acknowledges that the Tier II annual employers' savings provide the opportunity and
22     means to fund a pay increase; and
23          ▸     encourages the state of Utah, as well as the other employers of public safety officers
24     and firefighters throughout the state, to provide a pay increase for its public safety
25     officer and firefighter employees who are Tier II members.
26     Special Clauses:
27          None

29     Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein:

30          WHEREAS, public safety officers, including law enforcement officers, correctional
31     officers, and special function officers, and firefighters perform vital roles in serving and
32     protecting the public and property;
33          WHEREAS, performing these roles requires specialized training and strenuous activity,
34     and puts officers' and firefighters' personal safety and lives at risk;
35          WHEREAS, retirement systems and plans:
36          • provide deferred compensation as part of a total employment compensation and
37     benefits package;
38          • help employers attract and retain the required workforce;
39          • reward longevity related to years of service; and
40          • provide an income base for retirees that enhances economic security and income
41     replacement in later years;
42          WHEREAS, in 2010, the Legislature passed S.B. 63, New Public Employees' Tier II
43     Contributory Retirement Act, which continued the participation of existing public employees in
44     the Utah Retirement Systems' Tier I defined benefits systems and plans, but created Tier II
45     retirement systems and plans for public employees beginning employment on or after July 1,
46     2011, who did not have previous service credit with the Utah Retirement Systems;
47          WHEREAS, the Tier II retirement systems reduced the retirement benefits offered to
48     new public employees in comparison to the retirement benefits previously offered to public
49     employees, and these Tier II changes affected the retirement benefits for new public safety
50     officers and firefighters;
51          WHEREAS, the reduction in retirement benefits under the Tier II systems was enacted
52     as an important part of the long-term plan for stabilizing the pension funding obligations and
53     controlling benefits costs for the participating employers;
54          WHEREAS, while the total compensation package for public sector employees in Utah
55     was generally considered competitive with the private sector when S.B. 63 passed, starting
56     wages were approximately 30% below market starting wages;
57          WHEREAS, the concern was raised that a benefit reduction, when combined with

58     lower starting wages, may discourage individuals from choosing public sector employment,
59     and especially public safety and firefighter careers;
60          WHEREAS, proponents of S.B. 63 argued that controlling pension and future benefits
61     costs would, over time, make more money available to systematically fund pay increases in
62     order to close the public sector wage gap;
63          WHEREAS, since its implementation, the Tier II retirement systems are accomplishing
64     S.B. 63's objectives and controlling public employers' pension and future benefits costs;
65          WHEREAS, the total savings for all of Utah's employers resulting from Tier II public
66     safety officers and firefighters in 2015 was $6.8 million, and these annual savings are steadily
67     growing as the workforce shifts from Tier I to Tier II members; and
68          WHEREAS, the Tier II annual employers' savings provide the opportunity and means to
69     fund a pay increase for the public safety officers and firefighters that are Tier II members:
70          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah, the
71     Governor concurring therein, encourages the state of Utah, as well as the other employers of
72     public safety officers and firefighters throughout the state, to provide a pay increase for its
73     public safety officer and firefighter employees who are members of the New Public Safety and
74     Firefighter Tier II Contributory Retirement System.