Voters to decide if mayors can opt into state retirement system

Published 4:44 pm Monday, April 10, 2006

A bill passed by the Legislature this session will allow voters to decide whether Escambia County's mayors can opt into the state retirement system.
Brewton Mayor Ted Jennings said the measure would allow mayors and the county sheriff to participate in the state retirement system.
The bill would also prohibit those elected officials from participating in the supernumerary system, which allows certain officials to receive payments in addition to a salary in turn for serving in office.
Jennings said the ability to participate in the retirement system would be helpful to mayors, who often must balance their work with municipalities with other jobs.
Phasing out the supernumerary system for the sheriff's position would also likely save the county some money, Jennings said.
The state retirement system is similar to a 401(K) program at any business: Employees can pay a percentage of their salary into it, and the government they work for will match that contribution.
The bill would allow the officials affected by the bill to buy into the program for past years they have held office.
The bill only includes Escambia County officials.
Judges, district attorneys, legislators, constables, school board members and any officials elected from a judicial circuit are not included in the bill.