Commission to consider one-time bonus for county retirees

Published 4:49 pm Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Chilton County Commissioners have until Aug. 31 to consider approving a one-time, lump-sum monetary bonus for county retirees in October.

Although a work session has not been scheduled to discuss funding the bonuses, commissioners discussed different options during the July 28 commission meeting.

During its 2014 session, the Alabama Legislature passed a bill allowing counties participating in the Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) the authorization to give a bonus to county retirees in October 2014.

Approval to fund the bonus would provide county retirees with a one-time lump sum payment of $2 per month for each year of service or $300, whichever is greater, according to a letter from the RSA.

The RSA would pay the bonuses up front, allowing counties to pay the RSA back beginning October 2015 and ending September 2016.

RSA would also accept payment in full when the resolution authorizing the bonus is submitted.

The estimated cost for the Chilton County Commission is $29,044.

Donna Wyatt spoke during the July 28 commission meeting on behalf of the retirees.

Wyatt explained to commissioners the possibility of being able to finance the money starting in 2015.

“You don’t have to start paying the money up front, but you do have to have the resolution signed by Aug. 31 if you want the county to participate in this,” Wyatt said. “This bonus is optional, but if you don’t sign it by Aug. 31, it will not be in effect.”

Wyatt told commissioners the county retirees would appreciate the bonus, due to the increased cost of living.

“I know the retirees would really appreciate this,” Wyatt said. “I did want to see you consider it, and wanted to offer some explanation that you didn’t have to start paying the money until 2015. This is an unfunded mandate.”

Commissioner Joseph Parnell asked Wyatt how many retirees would be covered under the bonus.

Wyatt estimated around 60 retirees would benefit from the bonus.

Commissioners previously discussed funding the one-time bonus during the July 14 commission meeting, but took no action during the meeting.

During the July 14 meeting, commissioner Heedy Hayes said it would be good for the county to know how many employees would be involved in the bonus.

Commissioner Shannon Welch said during the July 28 meeting he thought the commission needed more information regarding the bonus before commissioners took action on the resolution.

Welch said the commission would discuss whether to approve the resolution at a future work session, but no date has been set.

The Chilton County Commission will hold a regularly scheduled meeting Aug. 11 at 6 p.m. at the Chilton County Courthouse.