The Macon Pensions and Retirement Systems Committee voted Wednesday against recommending that a 1.5 percent pension increase for city retirees be withheld in the coming year.
That disapproval vote will be sent to the full City Council on Dec. 21, when council members may vote on Macon Mayor Robert Reichert’s proposal to withhold the annual cost-of-living increase for retirees.
Committee member James Timley, president pro tempore of the council, asked how much more the city would pay out if the increase goes into effect.
About $55,000, Human Resources Director Ben Hubbard answered.
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Reichert has submitted resolutions to deny the increases because of ongoing economic troubles. Other pension plans didn’t give increases last year, because of the recession -- but Macon still did, said Councilwoman Lauren Benedict, a committee member. Finance Director Tom Barber, also a committee member, said the regular 1.5 percent increase was not tied to actual consumer prices. That means Macon’s retirees already were falling behind, Benedict said.
Timley moved to recommend against the mayor’s proposal, and his motion passed with only Barber dissenting. If the council takes no action, the increase will be automatic.
“It’s a huge hurdle to keep this from happening, politically; and it’s such a small dollar amount, when you look at it,” Benedict said.
To contact writer Jim Gaines, call 744-4489.