Committee talks about pension plan options

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis City Council is one step closer to deciding on pension plans for city workers.

The council met in an executive session to go over the options with a consulting firm.

It was the last chance for the council to get advice on pension plans for city workers.

Segal Consulting gave council members 59 pages worth of research, outlining the pros and cons for the different pension options.

Councilman Harold Collins said, “Their report showed that the mayor’s plan would cost the city and the taxpayers more money.”

That would be the Defined Contribution Plan, where the city and employee would each contribute eight percent and the investment risk would lie solely with the worker.

Collins said it would come with a hefty price tag, anywhere between $3 to 7 million more.

That is money he said the city should not be spending on pensions, especially considering their recent cuts to city workers’ healthcare subsidies.

“If we can’t find money to take care of the most vulnerable people in our community, then we need to be saving every penny we can.”

Instead he said it should be going towards the city’s Annual Required Contribution or ARC.

“The goal is to find the revenue to pay our ARC, which is paying out bills. Once we do that, we need to figure out what’s the best plan for our citizens and our employees.”

Other options are a Defined Benefit Plan where the city takes the investment risk and a Hybrid Plan where it is shared.

No decisions have been made and it will take several more months before council members decide what to do.

Councilman Collins pointed to a consultant’s report about the complexities of changing the current pension plan when he said, “People who wear shirts and ties to work can manage their money much better than people who do the grunt work.”

The report by Segal Consulting said financial experts should handle retirement plans because it’s too confusing for most people, especially blue-collar type jobs.

The council will discuss the mayor’s proposed pension plan again on October 7.

Click here to see the pension plan options presented by Segal Consulting.

20 comments

  • mhw

    Collins you horses patoot!!!! How dare you say that people who wear a shirt and tie manage their money better!!!!!! If that’s so why is the city finances so screwed up??? The grunt workers didn’t mess up the pension fund or screw up the city by letting the NBA contol the whole Fedex forum screw up. The grunt workers didn’t not pay the school system for yesrs cut taxes when they shouldn’t they have to come up with millions after the city was sued. It was you special tie wearers that made that debacle. You should be ashamed of yourself!!!!!

  • Jess

    What a great piece! Thanks showing us one more time what absolute idiots some of our council members are. “The people in suits and ties know how to manage money better than the grunt workers”. I cannot believe those words came out of Collins’ mouth, shameful really to talk about your constituents that way. I suppose Janice fullilove is really working hard to fairly solve the pension debate in her suit and tie whilst playing games on her computer- WOW, just sad. Hopefully more stories like these will help voters make better choices when voting time come around.

  • Lou Griggs

    KATIE RUFENER made a big career mistake. It’s one thing to be a good reporter but another to take a photo or video screen shot of someone’s open computer. Fullilove is insane, we all know this and I find it ridiculous she had something like this open during such an important meeting but the reporter showed a lack of ethics. Reminded me of a little kid tattling. Good luck Ms. Rufener on getting ANY decent interviews now. Your “scoop” was quite childish to throw in at the end of the report. Geesh Not classy and certainly unneeded fuel to throw in the mix. Your childish “extra” is no secret to native Memphians, which you are not. You’re a little late getting the notice on J Fullilove. She should not be on the council but the same idiots keep voting her in. If you’d done your research on her you probably wouldn’t have bothered with the screen shot…unless you’re here in Mphs for no other reason than to further your career by stirring the already boiling pot.

  • Looking for another job

    Collins is right. I am a police officer and specialize in police practice as well as other military function. Stop twisting his words you know the difference between bean counters and the rest of us. My degree is in emergency management and criminal justice not accounting.

  • Jazzy Me

    Wasn’t it the suit and ties that approved the Pyramid, paid $42 million dollars for Beale Street Landing, spending a LOT of money on the old Sears building…..and YET can’t ensure that the people with the most high risk jobs in the City that protect the City can’t have a decent Health Ins. plan, can’t rest in their impending retirement????? #ijs

  • Jazzy Me

    Even if he made that statement with the meaning that “the suit & ties” should look out for the “grunt workers” and take care of them with a better health care and a better pension, it was an extremely poor choice of words. I did budget and credit counseling for 2&1/2 years. The clients that I had that were the most in debt were the ones making 6 figures a year. I am an accountant and I KNOW that it takes more than a suit and tie to budget correctly!! A friend of mine has an elderly uncle who retired as a school janitor. He always bought savings bonds. At the age of 90 he bought himself a brand new truck and paid cash for it out of his savings over the years. So get a clue Mr. Collins.

  • Nancy

    Do y’all also know that the city has approved closing part of Riverside Dr. to make it a bike path? This was not made known before they decided to do it. What’s that going to cost the citizen? If possible you should leave this Democrat run city. It’s only gotten worse as time has passed. Detroit????

  • Karen

    What and idiot! Grunt workers really?! And by the way why aren’t you commenting and taking photos of kemp Conrad and shae Flinn texting and tweeting during the meetings? At least Janice if for the city workers!

  • Lost For Words

    Mr. Collins has the nerve to think that the City Council Fools are more intelligent than the line staff of the city. The so called. “Suit and Tie wearers ” have destroyed Memphis and placed it on the same path that Detroit went down. I hope all of the “grunt ” workers have enough nerve to vote Mr. Collins out of office and keep him off the political landscape of city and county government.

  • Steve

    Councilman Collins, What a person wears to work has no bearing on a person’s intelligence, or the fact that your finely dressed council body, over the years, has consistently made the wrong fiscal choices. I have a suit and a Class-A uniform, but I did your so-called ‘grunt work’, for 25 years, wearing a station uniform or bunker clothes. Despite that, I have a bachelor’s degree and was a Mensan, although I have not been active for over 30 years. Many police officers and firefighters have college degrees, even master’s degrees, such as Mark Kelly, whom you heard address the Council this very evening. The last time I was in a menswear store, I did not see any IQ tags denoting the minimum IQ one must have to wear a particular suit.

    As far as money management, for my entire career with the City of Memphis, I have operated on sub-par pay while prioritizing my spending. I own a modest home, paid-off truck and motorcycle, have raised children, and have the essentials. I practice discretionary spending on my hobbies. Basically, I lead a comfortable life, or at least I did until seven misguided Council members decided that I should pay the majority of my monthly income back to the city in the way of health insurance premiums. I neither need, nor want an extravagant lifestyle. It’s called ‘conservative spending’. You may have heard of it. Sure, there have been hard times, but I adjusted my spending to accommodate the situation, without sacrificing the necessities. Unfortunately, the City Council and administration cannot say the same. Public safety is a necessity. It is the first and foremost priority of any government body, or at least it should be. You may think that you have this situation under control, but believe me, you do not. I’m curious, Councilman Collins. When did you receive your invitation to join Mensa? I’m even more curious to know if you even know what the hell I’m talking about.

  • S.H.I.E.L.D.

    The essence of what Collins was saying is true if you consider that the suit and ties do unethical projects with tax payers money to pay eaxh other’s friends and family through contract work. City workers dedicate to service and commendabl. acts which have no dollars attached . . . except for their pay and benefits.

  • Lady D

    Jan-is “Full-of-herself” feels your pain guys .. well right after she get high score on her slot machine…. Guess she is banned from Tunica… Oh those tears must have been when she didn’t get the triple diamond.. Bet she sure misses those free buffet’s .. Listen in at 4PM (WDIA 1070) to “hear” her side…

  • michelle

    The city council just approved another worthless project for $70 million dollars.

    How many failed projects has the council approved?

    The pyramid
    The cook covention center
    Peabody mall
    Fed Ex forum
    Red Birds Stadium
    Beale Street Landing
    Bike Lanes
    Trolley Lines
    Inspection Stations
    Canon Center

    Need I continue…none of these projects has lived up to potential.

  • Cynthia Stovall

    “People who wear shirts and ties to work can mange their money better than people who do the grunt work”. I’m a happy retired grunt; yet, I don’t understand what this statement has to do with the City’s mismanagement of our tax dollars. My stock market analyst didn’t exactly convey the best advice and I lost more than I gained in my 401k investments; perhaps, I would have done better taking financial advice from another grunt. Our great city will never recover until we get sound leaders in office. The disparaging remark made by Mr. Collins was offensive and uncalled for; I’m sure he meant well. Grunts, you may want to reconsider his leadership in the future.

  • Jasmine Linder

    Who can go with me on the way back machine … who remembers the guy on the Council who actually changed his first name to “Dr.” … so he could be called Dr !!! True story !

  • Robby Sparks

    WREG should be ashamed of themselves. They edited this video to make it sound like Councilman Collins was calling our city’s employees grunts who couldn’t handle money as well as the suit and ties. Instead of apologizing to it’s viewers and readers, they just replace the video with an extended version. I used to trust Channel 3 but if they are going to manipulate the news and not even acknowledge it when they’re caught, i’ll have to find another, more honest source of news.

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