Click for Ann Arbor, Michigan Forecast
Saturday March 25, 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:

Ann Arbor Nightspots: Oz's Music Environment Ann Arbor Nightspots: Oz's Music Environment
Unplanned Duet - Where's that horn at Hill? Unplanned Duet - Where's that horn at Hill?
Ann Arbor Hobbies and Games Ann Arbor Hobbies and Games
The Pokémon Go Craze & the Nerd Community The Pokémon Go Craze & the Nerd Community
Hospice Departs - "The bricks will still be the... Hospice Departs - "The bricks will still be the...
Exit Interview - As she departs for California,... Exit Interview - As she departs for California,...
Ann Arbor Restaurants Ann Arbor Restaurants
Photo: Snowdrops at Hikone Park - 3-1-2017 Photo: Snowdrops at Hikone Park - 3-1-2017
Calendar This Week - Body, Mind, & Spirit Calendar This Week - Body, Mind, & Spirit
Today's Events Today's Events
Regent Hotel
custom blinds and window treatments, flooring, and furniture
top of the lamp. All your in home lighting needs.
Your guide to summer camps and activities for kids.
A visitor's guide to Ann Arbor