Opp employees won’t pay more for retirement

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Unlike other local employees who participate in the state retirement program, those in Opp will not be affected by the state mandated increase in retirement contributions.

The Opp City Council voted Monday to keep their current employee contribution rates, after being given the option by legislators to not pass along a more than 2.25 percent increase to help balance the state budget.

For state agencies, the act reduces their cost, and increases the cost paid by the employee.

Municipalities, county governments and local boards were given the option to keep their rates at their current levels. The city pays a portion as well.

Mayor H.D. Edgar said he disagreed with increasing the rate paid by city employees.

“It places more of the burden on the employee,” he said. “The state is doing this to try and balance its budget.”

City Clerk Connie Smith said the increase would essentially take away any merit raises given to employees during the next fiscal year.

Additionally, employees have already begun paying higher insurance premiums, councilman Jimmy Rogers said.

Had the city imposed the suggested increases, an average employee, who contributes 5 percent to retirement and makes $8.24 an hour, would have seen a decrease of approximately $30 per month in net pay.