Ann Arbor Weather:
Monday December 11, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Print Comment E-mail

What Price Pensions?

 

continued

The number of employees in the defined-benefit plan, the Washtenaw County Employees Retirement System (WCERS), fell steadily in the years that followed. According to Monica Boote, the county's human resources operational director, by 2007 just 155 employees were still covered. But in 2008, the county reopened its defined benefits plan, folding newer employees' individual retirement accounts into WCERS. Five years later, more than 1,000 staff members are "vested"--with enough seniority to claim at least a partial pension--in the system. With an average age of forty-four, they'll be collecting guaranteed payments for decades to come.

"A lot of people think it wasn't a good idea now, but our administrator did that with the board's support," says county administrator Verna McDaniel, referring to her predecessor, longtime administrator Bob Guenzel. "We all were there."

"The unions proposed it, AFSCME primarily," Guenzel remembers. "We were successful in getting the unions to give up a [scheduled] 2 percent [pay] increase. That was a big structural savings, and in return they wanted to go back to defined benefits.

"It was a very difficult decision, but given what we faced and the actuarial projections we had, we felt we were protected," the retired administrator says. "And by those negotiations we saved about 100 positions and services."

Bookmark and Share
previous  ·  1 l 2 l 3 l 4 l 5 l 6 l 7 l 8  ·  next page
all on one page
read more stories here -> Marketplace  l  Culture  l  Community  l  News

You might also like:

Clean Coach
Peers praise the U-M's John Beilein.
Craig Ross
Family, Teens, & Kids Stuff
Business in Chelsea
Going Up
The DDA voted in October to add three stories to the Ann-Ashley parking structure.
James Leonard
"A Quirky Memoir"
A retired design prof aids student entrpreneurs.
Jan Schlain
Subscribe to the Ann Arbor Observer
Photo: Santa's Present to ME!
Nightspots: Common Cup
County Courts
Amir ElSaffar
Rivers of sound
Piotr Michalowski
Regent Hotel
Senior Living Communties 734-677-0071
spark ann arbor