Retirement plans centralize talks during finance meeting

Among the various discussions during Carter County’s Financial Management Committee meeting Wednesday morning was the issue of retirement plans.

Financial Director Brad Burke spoke about the 457 retirement plans, saying the details on providing them were still a ways off.

“Other counties are behind in getting the information,” Burke said.

Deputy Director Michael Kennedy said they were shooting for a finalized plan in December.

“We are trying to provide more investing options for our employees,” Kennedy said.

He said the 457 plan is similar to a 401k, except the county does not contribute to the fund themselves. The system is normally utilized by county employees in place of a private, 401k company.

Burke said current iterations of the plan pose problems due to a lack of information.

“Seventy percent of the money in the accounts is fixed,” he said. “Therefore, they do not know where their money is.”

Burke said the plan utilizes a mobile phone app customers can use to keep track of their retirement fund, but he said the app has problems as well.

“People tell me the app is no good,” Burke said.

Ultimately, Burke and Kennedy said they are working on providing more options for retirement in order to maximize employees’ options.

Ginger Holdren, a County Commissioner, spoke about the addition of cameras on the outside of school buses and how such a plan would be implemented. Ward said not every bus would have them, but many school buses will have a camera that activates when the driver extends the stop sign, so the driver can catch drivers who do not stop.

“They can help enforce bus laws in order to protect children,” Holdren said.

At the end, the committee approved a rescheduling of future meetings. Instead of taking place on the first Wednesday of every month, they will now take place on the first Monday. The starting time of 8:30 a.m. will not change, however.

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