Clare County Review & Marion Press

Osceola commissioners approve MERS plans

By John Raffel
Correspondent

MARION – A MERS DC plan for all new hires after Jan. 1, 2022 was approved 5-1 by the Osceola County Board of Commissioners, at its meeting earlier this week.
MERS is the Municipal Employees Retirement System.
Commissioner Tim Mitchell of Middle Branch Township voted against the motion.
“The county is switching all new hires from a defined retirement benefit plan to a defined contribution plan,” Michell said. “This is in my opinion a really good idea. I’ve been pushing all three years I’ve been on the board to get us into a defined contribution because that way we know what we’re paying for. The defined benefits program years ago, the board voted to implement this retirement plan and really it’s a product nobody knows what it’s going to cost.
“I thought we were rushed. We have some new hires we want to do and we want to get them on the first of January. But in order to get them on the new plan, we had to implement the insurance and I felt we haven’t done enough research. I think the county is offering more than we should for the defined contribution. The plan we implemented will mean the county puts in six percent and the employee does not put in anything. In plan B, the employee puts in six percent and the county matches with eight percent contribution.”
Michell said his own personal research shows the national average is around 3 percent the employee puts in for a match.
“I felt we could offer more for 5 as opposed to the six or eight,” Michell said. “I’m in the minority so I support the board’s decision.”

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