Detroit Backs Off Pension Changes -- For Now

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DETROIT (AP) -- Detroit's emergency manager suddenly is suspending an order that would freeze pension benefits for thousands of city workers.
Kevyn Orr says he's delaying the order to allow more time to strike a deal during private mediation. In a statement Monday, he says "time is running short."
On Dec. 30, Orr froze pension benefits already accrued by employees and ordered them and any new hires into 401(k)-style plans. It wouldn't affect police officers and firefighters, whose pension fund is considered to be in better shape than the fund covering other city workers. Current retirees also wouldn't be affected.
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.
Pension fund spokeswoman Tina Bassett called the freeze "outrageous."

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