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Retirement Plan Terminated for Westport’s New Non-Union Employees

Financial issues in Westport brought on drastic changes for new town workers.

The RTM voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve two recommendations that for non-union Westport employees hired on or after Jan. 1.

“As you are aware, for the past two years there has been a great deal of discussions at all levels of town government about ‘closing out’ the defined benefit plans to new hires and transitioning them to a new town-defined contribution plan," First Selectman Gordon Joseloff recently stated in a memo to the town’s two non-union pension boards.

ultimately led to making these drastic changes, which will not affect any current town employees, but new employees and supervisors.

According to First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, defined contribution plans like the ones passed Tuesday night could cost the town more money in the initial stages as Westport continues to contribute to employee benefits under the old plan.

“We could find ourselves paying more initially. In the long run, we are setting the stage for improved financial stability,” Joseloff said, noting it is necessary to know exactly how much the town will be paying. “This town, the state and the nation cannot afford to pay the promises made.”

RTM District 9 member Gilbert Nathan wanted to make it ‘crystal clear’ that employees under the former plan will not begin to cost Westport very much until they retire and their pensions and other post employment benefits kick in and begin to drain the towns' funds. Of course, Westport will have to pay more up front with the new model, but it will save us in the future when we are not forced to contribute to retired workers for decades down the road.

Nathan spoke in favor of the recommendations, stating he wanted to do what was best for “our children, grandchildren, and in some cases, great grandchildren.”

Chris Rueli (Editor) February 08, 2012 at 04:56 PM
The only current non-union town hire who will be affected by this change is Gary Conrad, Westport's new finance director.

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