Complaints building, delays growing in Police Pledge Fund

FOX 46 Charlotte continues investigating problems with the CMPD Police Pledge Fund. It’s a volunteer retirement program almost half of the police department employees are invested in.

Complaints are building and delays are growing as CMPD retirees wait for their payout. The Fraternal Order of Police says they have heard frustrations over the past six months.

“We saw it coming,” said Mark Michalec, President of the Fraternal Order of Police. “People complaining about it around the year mark.”

Michalec is one of about 1100 CMPD employees who are members of the Police Pledge Fund. That means five dollars is taken out of each paycheck in good faith that when members retire they will be gifted ten dollars from each member of the fund.

LINK: "There is no guarantee": CMPD official says employee retirement fund could go away

“When I joined in the 1990s, people were getting paid in a couple weeks,” said Deputy Chief Jennings who oversees the fund and is also a member. “It fluctuates every week. You are looking at about ten, eleven thousand dollars when you retire.” He says each payout is not the same and there is no guarantee.

“I’ve heard officers get anywhere from eleven to twelve thousand dollars to nine thousand dollars, so it all depends how many people are in the plan or signing up or leaving,” said Michalec.

The current wait time is two years and getting longer, according to CMPD. If an employee leaves the program before retirement, the employee does not get their money back. “If you opt out later on, you can’t get back into it,” said Michalec.

The future of the program is up in the air. Deputy Chief Jennings told Fox46 Charlotte it is possible the fund could cease to exist and is not sustainable as it currently operates. Michalec said he would be disappointed if the program ended and he lost money he put into the program, but also believes there is a bright side to the situation.

“It’s disappointing but you have to look back and say for the officers that I was able to donate to… that I was able to give them something upon retirement so it’s a brotherhood.”