Mesa County to cut its employees’ retirement benefits next year

Mesa County will cut its employees’ retirement benefits next year, a move attributable to a recession that has sapped the county of millions of dollars in revenue.

Under the old retirement plan, workers with fewer than five years of service were required to contribute 5 percent of their gross pay to a retirement account and received a 5 percent match. Workers with more than five years of service had to contribute 6 percent of their pay and received a 6 percent match. Workers employed with the county for more than 10 years were eligible for an additional 1 percent county match that went into a deferred compensation plan.

Under the new plan, which takes effect Jan. 1, all employees will have to contribute 3 percent of their pay to a retirement account.

The county will offer a 3 percent match. With the deferred compensation plan, the county will match up to a 1 percent contribution from employees with fewer than five years of service, up to 2 percent from employees with six to 10 years of service and up to 3 percent from employees with more than 10 years of service.

“We’re trying to give our employees the flexibility to take home a little more cash right now while we save some dollars, because we’re getting creamed right now,” County Administrator Jon Peacock said.

The retirement benefit reduction could save the county nearly $800,000 in 2010, he said.


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