County approves $1 million for pension plan

Thu, 09/04/2008 - 3:17pm
By: Ben Nelms

It was essentially an annual housekeeping chore Sept. 2 when the Coweta County Commissioners approved nearly a million dollar payment to the county’s employee Defined Benefit Group Pension Plan. The plan is being supplanted by a defined contribution plan said to give employees more flexibility and cost taxpayers less money.

Commissioners unanimously approved the $976,120 lump sum defined benefits contribution. The annual payment, which is a budgeted expense, is required to keep the defined benefit pension plan actuarially sound, commissioners said. Plan participants contribute 2.75 percent of their salary that is matched by the county to provide approximately one-fourth of the benefit cost for the plan’s 15-year projected obligations, according to county documents. The Defined Benefit Group Pension Plan was initiated in the late 1970s, County Administrator Theron Gay said.

Coweta County in the past two years implemented a new defined contribution plan that is being transitioned over time as employees make the switch from defined benefits. County employees find the defined contribution plan more flexible because they can manage their contributions themselves, said Gay, and because they have the option of taking a lump sum payout once their employment ends or they can take a monthly draw.

Gay said the bottom line is that the new defined contribution plan provides increased flexibility for employees and is more cost effective for the county.

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