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Knoxville, Knox County vote to close current pension plans

12:36 AM, Nov 7, 2012   |    comments
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Voters in Knox County and the city of Knoxville voted to close pension programs for future city and county employees.

Both the city and the county are proposing separate pension changes for the thousands of government and civil servants, and they could affect millions of tax dollars long term.

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero said the current city pension plan for 1,600 eligible employees is costly, running $13 million this year.  She expects the number to grow as more Baby Boomers retire.

"We need to stop the current plan that is not sustainable for the long term and make sure it reduces costs while it continues to provide benefits," said Mayor Rogero.

The current plan will still apply to anyone retired by the first day of next year, but new hires after that date will be enrolled in the new plan.

Another charter amendment on the ballot will close the current pension plan for uniformed officers in Knox County.

Voters passed a charter amendment that will shut down the plan for new hires as of January 1, 2014. Unlike the city's proposal, the county plan will not automatically introduce a new pension plan.

Instead, the county's pension board will recommend a new plan that county commission will vote on.

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