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Deadline approaching for Detroit retirees, other creditors vote on bankruptcy restructuring

Retirees Mike Shane, left, and William Davis protest near the federal courthouse in Detroit, Thursday, July 3, 2014. Ballots submitted by city workers, retirees, pensioners and other creditors likely will determine how quickly Detroit exits its historic bankruptcy. The city’s two pension groups have been pushing their members to vote “yes” on a restructuring plan that seeks to cut their income. Rejection of the plan could lead to what’s known as a cram down and steeper reduction in pension payments. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

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Retirees Mike Shane, left, and William Davis protest near the federal courthouse in Detroit, Thursday, July 3, 2014. Ballots submitted by city workers, retirees, pensioners and other creditors likely will determine how quickly Detroit exits its historic bankruptcy. The city’s two pension groups have been pushing their members to vote “yes” on a restructuring plan that seeks to cut their income. Rejection of the plan could lead to what’s known as a cram down and steeper reduction in pension payments. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DETROIT - The most anticipated vote in Detroit this summer isn't for a city office.

Instead, ballots due by Friday from city retirees could determine how quickly Detroit exits its historic bankruptcy and how much of the financial weight pensioners will bear.

Non-uniformed retirees are being asked to take a 4.5 per cent pension cut and no cost-of-living allowances. Police and fire retirees are faced with reduced cost-of-living payments.

Their pension boards have joined Gov. Rick Snyder and state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr in seeking "yes" votes on the plan.

Voting "no" could result in deeper cuts for the city's 32,000 retirees and current and former city workers.

All classes of creditors, including banks and bond insurers, also must vote by Friday on the aspects of Orr's debt restructuring plan that affects them.

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