Mon. Dec 4th, 2023

Jacksonville city officials have improved the retirement benefits of a certain segment of city employees.

The Jacksonville City Council voted at a meeting Monday evening to offer Tier II employees the retirement benefits of Tier I employees who are members of the Employees’ Retirement System. The change takes effect in October.

The different retirement plans are the result of policy changes made by Retirement Systems of Alabama several years ago. The change created two different tiers of benefits for plans with the RSA.

Tier I applies to employees hired before 2013, while Tier II applies to employees hired afterwards. The differences between the two tiers determine when the employee can retire, what the monthly contribution is and how benefits are calculated.

As an example, a Tier I employee can retire at age 60 or when he/she has 25 years of service, while a Tier II employee cannot retire until age 62 and only if he/she has at least 10 years of service. There is no solely service-based retirement option for Tier II employees.

“Putting employees on a level playing field, regardless of when they were hired, is a substantial recruiting tool, especially for law enforcement agencies. It gets us all on the same page,” Talladega County Administrator Pat Lyle explained to the Daily Home in an article last year on the topic.

According to Retirement Systems of Alabama, those Tier II employees will pay 7.5 percent contribution rates, except for law enforcement and firefighters, who will pay 8.5 percent.

Jacksonville City Administrator Albertha Grant said during a work session before the meeting the city would pay a catch-up amount of $28,000 to equalize the two tiers. 

An attempt Monday to reach Mayor Johnny Smith for additional comment was unsuccessful.

The City Council also authorized Smith to sign an agreement with Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus, LLC to market the fire department’s Pierce Dash pumper fire truck and approve its sale price through a listing agreement or on

The mayor was also authorized to approve the purchase of Cradlepoint Equipment and monthly voice and data access plans from FIRSTNET for the fire department.

Council members also voted to approve an amended job description for a police corporal position.

In other business, the council:

— Authorized the mayor to enter several annual agreements with tech companies for software and software support.

— Authorized Smith to sign an agreement with Joan B. Young for magistrate services.

— Scheduled a public hearing for the 2021 Recreational Trails Program Funding Cycles for Feb. 22

By senior