December 25, 2013 - For the first time ever, Addison Township employees will be offered a retirement plan.
"I have been saying all along (since taking office in 2008), I was going to do that because (the) bottom-line is I don't want anybody working in Addison Township for 30 years and then I drive by and see them selling apples on the corner because they have no retirement," said Addison Supervisor Bruce Pearson. "I want to give them an opportunity to have a retirement and have it tax deferred, so it can grow much quicker."
Jay Smith, of the Raymond James office in Oxford, will present the details of the retirement plan at the Jan. 20 board meeting.
As encouragement to participate in the plan, Pearson said the township will match whatever the employee puts in up to 3 percent. "The township won't handle the investments or anything like that. It's automatically turned over to the company (Raymond James) there and we just forward whatever the employee wants us to forward," he added. "They can talk one-on-one with their own investment advisor and do their own retirement."
The township is also picking up the administrative cost, which is only $10 per person, which Pearson said "is very reasonable."
While they do give their employees 15 percent longevity on their wages, it's not tax deferred.
"This is a big step," he said. "We've never had a retirement plan or a deferred savings plan in Addison Township and I think this is one way (our employees) can benefit."
Along with the retirement plan, Pearson is also proposing a 2-percent pay increase to all township employees including elected officials.
"Last year, I said the elected officials wouldn't get a raise, but we did give the employees a (2-percent) raise. This year we'll give the employees another raise and give the elected officials a raise, (too)," he said. "I've never accepted a raise since I've been in here, which is going on my sixth year, so this is the first time."
"I'm not only thinking of myself, but I (have) got to think of the position of the supervisor. I also have to think of the other elected officials and their positions," Pearson continued. "If you don't maintain some kind of compensation, you're going to eliminate a lot of qualified people. You have to get the standard there."
The 2 percent raise would increase Pearson, Clerk Pauline Bennett and Treasurer Lori Fisher's annual salaries from $32,401 to $33,050 and increase their longevity from $4,860 to $4,957 per year.
Bennett receives an additional salary of $16,100, including longevity, for additional duties outside her clerk's role. That amount would be raised to $16,422.
According to Fisher, the total cost incurred to the township for 2 percent increases across-the-board would be approximately $5,900, excluding the fire department, which is a different budget.
"I would never give a raise out if we didn't have the money," Pearson said. "We are in better financial shape today then we were five years ago."
"The employees definitely deserve a 2 percent raise," Pearson added. "They've stuck with us through the hard times and they didn't grumble when I didn't give out any raises."
Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.