DETROIT — Detroit is steering thousands of city workers into 401(k)-style retirement accounts and freezing their accrued pension benefits.
The change doesn’t affect police officers and firefighters, whose pension fund is considered to be in better shape than the fund covering other city workers.
The Detroit News says emergency manager Kevyn Orr signed the order Dec. 30. He says freezing benefits will let Detroit put more money into essential services.
Pension fund spokeswoman Tina Bassett calls the freeze “outrageous.” She says the fund isn’t the cause of Detroit’s financial problems.
Detroit is trying to fix its long-term debt in bankruptcy court. Orr says the city’s two pension funds are underfunded by $3.5 billion.
Orr’s order also eliminates cost-of-living increases for retirees in the general pension fund.