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Board still uncertain about employee retirement program

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The Carroll County Electric Department (CCED) Board held another round of lengthy discussions at their March 23 meeting regarding possibly providing retirement benefits for CCED employees through the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS).

Ultimately the board voted to have TCRS do a detailed evaluation of one of the available plan options and get back to the board with data regarding costs and benefits for employees and estimates as to the cost for the CCED.

The board also generally agreed to share those figures with employees and get their feedback as to whether or not they would want to switch to this plan.

If the board decides to go with this particular TCRS option, participating employees would have to contribute five percent of their regular wages toward retirement with cost of living adjustments. Existing employees would have a choice whether or not to participate, but new employees would have to participate in the plan.

Existing employees would also be able put their own money into the plan at five percent of their past wages going back five years for to a maximum collective total of $833,631, and the CCED would have to put in $840,490 in unfunded accrued liability if all employees make maximum contributions.

Board members expressed concerns as to whether or not the CCED could afford its part if all employees opt for full participation, and CCED financial officer Ryan Drewry said they have about $1 million in a rainy day fund, though spending all of that would leave the CCED short on likely upcoming expenses, such as replacing old transformers and the new substation planned for the 1,000-Acre Lake area.

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