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Old city pensioners could get Social Security

Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 7:21 PM
Last updated Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 1:37 AM
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A handful of employees belonging to the city’s oldest pension plans might get a reprieve on the plans’ exclusion of them from Social Security retirement.

The 1945 and 1949 pension plans, named for the years they were established, were closed to new members decades ago, but about 70 plan members remain on the job, having made no contribution to Social Security unless they had other employment, Fi­nance Director Donna Williams said.

After inquiries from those employees, Williams said she explored options that would allow them to be covered by Social Security.

After consulting with pension counsel Ice Miller LLC, Williams determined the change would require a referendum of all covered employees. If they approve, the city would incur the additional expense of matching employee Social Security contributions, she said. Employees must determine whether they have time before retirement to work the minimum amount required to collect the benefit.

The matter and a 1.7 percent pension cost-of-living adjustment will go before the Augusta Commission on Tuesday.

At last Monday’s meeting of the pension and audit committee, pension manager Morgan Stanley presented a report on the plans’ performance and balances.

The 1945 plan, which was the old Richmond County (before city-county consolidation) employee pension, has 24 surviving retirees and two active members. Its investment return over 2012 was 11.1 percent and its balance on Dec. 31 was $6,048,888.

The 1949 plan, which was the old Augusta pension, has 62 active employee members. Its return over 2012 was 12.9 percent and its balance Dec. 31 was $58,375,674, according to the report.

The “mature” plans are being eyed by Augusta attorney Jack Long, who represents several city pensioners. He asked about what would happen to leftover plan money if all members die.

“It does not belong to the government,” Long said, citing an earlier opinion from former city attorney Steve Shepard.

Williams, who indicated that surplus money was unlikely because the city still must contribute annually to the plans to meet state requirements, said any leftover money would return to the city.

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Riverman1
93492
Points
Riverman1 02/02/13 - 06:28 am
9
0
Fi­nance Director Donna Williams

Fi­nance Director Donna Williams went looking for something that will end up costing the county lots? Shouldn't she have been working the other way?

No_Longer_Amazed
5146
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 02/02/13 - 08:07 am
5
0
Balances???

Would be nice if the amount of the balances were stated in dollars and cents where they could be understood!

dichotomy
37417
Points
dichotomy 02/02/13 - 08:09 am
11
0
I'm no financial genius but

I'm no financial genius but something doesn't seem quite kosher here.

There are many federal, state, and municipal government employees who are not eligible for Social Security because they did not pay anything into the system for 25, 30, 40 years of their career. I'm sure a lot of them would like the opportunity to jump into the system for a few years at the top of their salary history and qualify for Social Security.

Maybe the employees should be required to repay all of the SS taxes that would have been withheld since the first day they went to work plus interest.

And we wonder why Social Security is broke.

Jane18
12332
Points
Jane18 02/02/13 - 08:49 am
8
0
Something Stinks!

You are correct, dichotomy............................this is not right, not in anyway you look at it!!

Riverman1
93492
Points
Riverman1 02/02/13 - 08:54 am
10
0
Realize How Much We're Talking

Here's what she said that worries me: "...the city would incur the additional expense of matching employee Social Security contributions..."

The city is trying to cut expenses by every means possible and she wants to start this?

Sweet son
11585
Points
Sweet son 02/02/13 - 12:05 pm
3
0
Not a new idea

it's called entitlement! If you cut the deal then you have to live with the deal.

Dr_Evil
101
Points
Dr_Evil 02/02/13 - 12:41 pm
4
0
But you still wont' "allow"

But you still wont' "allow" those of us that have been around 20+ years who got stuck in the "77 plan", and then into the "newer" plan, get into the 45 or 49 plan. Yeah, it sounds like "sour grapes", but this is "nonsense"!...having gotten out of "paying" SS taxes all these years and then "getting" the benefits, I call "foul"! I've been "paying" into "social security" all my working life, and I'll probably never see a
"dime"! Something "stinks"!

corgimom
38321
Points
corgimom 02/02/13 - 12:53 pm
4
0
Anybody that even has a

Anybody that even has a pension should be grateful.

Millions of people have worked all their lives, thinking that they would have a pension when they retired, and their employers decided to end their plans. They are left with very little and no way to make it up.

It's called "Being Enron'd"

LillyfromtheMills
14285
Points
LillyfromtheMills 02/02/13 - 02:13 pm
4
0
This stinks -If you didn't pay into the fund

You don't get it - if you did - you do! I didn't pay into it - therefore, I don't get it! This is nuts.

LillyfromtheMills
14285
Points
LillyfromtheMills 02/02/13 - 02:15 pm
3
0
A long time ago

I realized I had to take care of myself - SS - not my cup of tea.

SemperParatus
3225
Points
SemperParatus 02/02/13 - 06:08 pm
2
0
Question about old plans

Is it true that the two pension plans mentioned above pay the retirees 100% of their salary for the rest of their lives? I remember former 9-1-1- manager, Phil Wasson, bragging that he would make more money retired than if working. Is this really possible here in Augusta, GA?

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