Fayetteville Councilman wants to look into deferred pension scheme

City staff will consider a proposal that could allow Fayetteville City Council members to receive a retirement allowance.

According to city documents, council members DJ Haire and Chris Davis requested a discussion at Monday night’s business meeting to consider exploring retirement allowances for longtime council members.

The documents say the research includes the option of giving $500 a month to members who served 10 or more years on the board after leaving the board.

During Monday night’s business session, Haire clarified that his request was for staff only to research current deferred compensation pension plans for North Carolina officials elected to local, state and federal offices.

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A deferred compensation plan is a voluntary savings plan that allows public sector employees to set aside a portion of money from each salary for retirement.

“I’ve spoken to a number of our state, federal, and local folks…and they have…a form of retirement that some people probably didn’t even know existed,” Haire said.

City and county payment

Councilman Johnny Dawkins said he understands county commissioners earn $10,000 more than city council members.

According minutes As of a June 6 county commissioner’s budget meeting, Cumberland County commissioners receive an annual salary of $23,297 and the commissioners voted to increase the council chairman’s salary to $31,100 and the salary of the vice president at $25,297.

County minutes indicate that commissioners who elect to participate in a deferred compensation plan “receive a contribution from the county” which is a maximum of 4.9% of their salary.

According to the city’s website, Fayetteville City Council members currently receive an annual salary of approximately $17,088 per year, plus a travel and training budget of $4,000.

Dawkins said council members often work more than 30 hours a week on city business.

He asked Haire to consider asking staff to consider tax deferral if someone has been elected at least three times.

He said $500 could be set aside each month as deferred compensation for the board member who qualifies for it, and they couldn’t touch those funds while on the board.

He said the deferred pay would be similar to a savings fund for the board member once he retires, but would be “not a retirement plan”.

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Neither Haire nor Dawkins said whether the savings would be paid monthly or in a lump sum once someone leaves the council or whether the city would provide a certain percentage to match what the council member puts into the plan.

Council members Shakeyla Ingram and Yvonne Kinston voted against consensus to move the discussion point forward.

Mayor Mitch Colvin said the vote that received majority consensus was simply to get more information to see what compares with other local governments. “For the listening public, I know there has been a lot of innuendo and chatter online about this, but ultimately it is for information and we will continue to report this information if action is taken. taken,” Colvin said. .

Writer Rachael Riley can be reached at rriley@fayobserver.com or 910-486-3528.

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