Columbus City Employee Pension Plan Proposal - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus city employee pension plan proposal

The Columbus Government has tens of millions of dollars they have to pay out in pensions every year.  

A new pension plan was presented to Columbus Council Members Tuesday in hopes of preserving retirement benefits of employees and cutting costs for the city.

"We have to start saving tax payer dollars with our budgeting for retirement plan.  We have to guarantee that retirement plan, but at the same time we have to do it in a responsible way to the tax payers. This proposal has us saving over $109 million over 15 years in pension obligation," said Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson.

The proposal is to give a 4% pay raise to current employees.  But, that 4% would go directly into the pension plan.  Those employees will keep their current pension benefits.  

New employees would be paying more in to their pensions, 6% or 8% is proposed.  It is still being decided what their benefit will be.

Randy Robertson was on the committee that researched pension plans to show to council.  He is also representing the Fraternal Order of Police and said, "From a public safety standpoint we feel that a new employee benefit should be the same as a current employee."

In the mid-80's Columbus Council gave employees a raise by eliminating their contributions.

"If they had done it for just one year it would have been fine.  But, they never put it back in and over these 20 to 30 years that has had a compounding effect that has really put us in a hole here," explained Tomlinson.

Tomlinson says this proposal will have very little impact on CCG employees now, but will guarantee their pensions continue.  Taxpayers will save money because the city's obligation will be lowered.

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