Rather than try to fix the troubled city retirement plan, the Dothan City Commission must now make a decision about transitioning to the Employees Retirement System of Alabama. City Manager Dennis Rubin presented an overview report to the commission today for final approval. The report compared the current city employees pension plan to the benefits of the state retirement system. Under the state plan, if approved, the 55 required age of retirement will be eliminated, employees will gain benefits of converting sick leave to creditable service time and a reduction in employee contribution will change from 7.5% to 5% for non-public safety employees and 7.5% to 6% for firefighters and law enforement officers. 847 out of 850 city employees petitioned to transition to the state plan. The city is expected to pay 5.9 million dollars for its first year contribution, if the switch is made. Rubin says the city may have to pay out a little more over the next four to five years, but stands to gain more dedicated employees, increased employee morale and a younger workforce for the city, and most importantly, a secure retirement system for the future.
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