Thursday, May 27, 2021

Bond sale will help fund city retiree pension debt

Westland has found a way to pay the majority of the city unfunded pension liability for former city employees.

Mayor William R. Wild said that a successful debt refinancing completed in March will result in significant savings to the city. Westland issued $82,470,000 in bonds to pay for a majority of the costs of the unfunded pension liability for the defined benefit pension plan for government employees administered by the Michigan Employees Retirement System of Michigan (MERS).

The new savings are the result of refinancing $12,460,000 in Tax Increment Financing Authority (TIFA) bonds which were originally utilized to finance the new city hall and Ralph Savini Fire Station projects. The new interest rate for the bonds came in at 2.005 percent. By issuing the 2021 bonds at this low fixed rate, the city will realize $1.5 million in savings over the life of the 2021 bonds and the maturity date will remain the same (2034). This will result in savings of $127,000 in the first year alone, Wild explained. 

 “Once again Westland was able to take advantage of our excellent bond rating and historically low interest rates to save tax dollars,”  Wild said.