2018-02-11 / News

Collective bargaining agreement modifies employee MERS contributions

By Jeanne Marcello
Staff Reporter

VILLAGE OF CHESANING – During the Tuesday, Feb. 6 meeting, the Chesaning Village Council approved a new collective bargaining agreement, which requires village employees to contribute an additional percentage into the retirement system. It affects three village employees.

During the meeting, village president Joseph Sedlar, Jr. said, “MERS (Municipal Employee Retirement System) is severely underfunded, about $2.5 million underfunded. We’re only 19 percent, plus or minus.”

Sedlar explained that if the village doesn’t do something about resolving that unfunded liability, the State of Michigan will come in and mandate changes to resolve it. “We saw how well that worked for Flint,” he commented.

He went on to explain that back in the 1990s, a previous village council cashed everyone out of the old retirement system and then switched to MERS. Then two employees retired, which left the village with a substantial deficit from the start.

Sedlar said, “We’re dealing with it. Our contribution is actually higher than we need to be. We have the old police department $180,000 underfunded. I want a full-time police force, but not until we get that taken care of.”

Village administrator Troy Feltman said, “Everyone new coming in is under a new system.”

The village council unanimously approved the new MERS agreement.

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