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Dallas pension system suspends access to some funds

December 8, 2016
Kelly Gottschalk, right, executive director of the Dallas Police & Fire Pension System, speaks with Sam Friar, chairman of board of trustees, before heading into a closed executive board meeting in Dallas, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. The board is expected to decide whether to stop lump sum withdrawals from the ailing fund. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Kelly Gottschalk, right, executive director of the Dallas Police & Fire Pension System, speaks with Sam Friar, chairman of board of trustees, before heading into a closed executive board meeting in Dallas, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. The board is expected to decide whether to stop lump sum withdrawals from the ailing fund. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas Police and Fire Pension system board has voted to suspend all withdrawals and payments coming out of deferred retirement funds.

The vote Thursday stops more than $154 million in requested withdrawals from being distributed Friday. Pension officials say the withdrawals would drop reserves below what’s needed to sustain the fund. More than $500 million has been withdrawn since August.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings had filed a lawsuit to stop the lump-sum withdrawals, which he said have sped up the estimated insolvency projection for the ailing fund to about 10 years.

System officials say they are working to convert illiquid assets to liquid assets to resume monthly payments in January.

Both the city and pension system are proposing plans to lower benefits to stabilize the fund.

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