MFA requests 2 percent pension increase help retirees

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Memphis Firefighters Association is requesting more money as many of their retirees struggle to make ends meet.

Thomas Malone, president of the Memphis Firefighters Association, sent a letter to city councilman Berlin Boyd, asking the council to consider a two percent increase in their pension to match the rising cost of living.

"These people are starving to death and you're sitting on $2.2 billion," Malone said.

Malone said that $2.2 billion is what currently makes up the pension fund, which is a major increase from last year thanks to new investments.

He said the increase should give the city the confidence for the raise, which is something they haven't done since 2012.

"We understand that it's a cost but employees or retirees are always a cost," Malone said.

Some on the pension plan said the lack of a raise is costing them their health.

David Starnes, 72, joined the fire department in the 1960s and was put on pension after being injured on the job.

"I took them down and something pops in my back," Starnes said. "It was horrible. The doctor, he told me then that I was going to be paralyzed if I kept on working."

Without the increase in pension, it's getting harder to keep up with the cost of his medication.

"I stay in bed all the time because I cannot pay for the medicine that I need to have," Starnes said.

Malone said he is hoping together they can come up with a plan to help those who risked their lives for our city.

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