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Hearings are set for this week in the St. Louis firefighters' pension reform battle.

Early last year, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay had proposed replacing the current Firemen's Retirement System with a less-expensive pension system. The Board of Aldermen passed the plan, but the board that oversees the pension system sued to stop the city from implementing it.

The new system would cut costs by trimming disability payments and making pension administrators civil servants, among other things. City officials say that's necessary because the pay and benefits that the four-person administrative staff receives right now are far more than those of other city pension administrators.

The F-R-S needed a 20-million dollar infusion from the city coffers last year in order to cover expenses. Slay says the city can't keep that up for long.
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