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Committee votes for 11% retirement contribution
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Warren County government’s retirement contribution of 11 percent will likely remain intact, but one commissioner suggested it be lower to create a cost savings of $137,000. 

The county Financial Management Committee met during an online video conferencing session to consider Warren County’s contribution into the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System. Last year, 11 percent was allocated to employees’ retirement.

In the general county and highway budgets this year, there is approximately $13.7 million budgeted for salaries for full-time employees and elected officials. At 11 percent, the county’s contribution to employee retirement would be $1.5 million. 

“The TCRS evaluation for the county came in,” said Finance Department director Justin Cotten. “The minimum level that the county can contribute is 8.61 percent. However, the TCRS recommends we contribute more than that in order to offset later shortfalls. Last year, the recommended rate was around 9.6 percent. The county elected to contribute 11 percent.”

The minimum contribution of 8.61 percent will cost $1.17 million. 

Warren County director of schools Bobby Cox asked, “Justin, do you recommend staying with 11 percent? I think we’ve done that for the last several years.” 

“Yes, we have,” said Cotten. “That would offset any future inflation that we might see.” 

Cox made a motion to keep the county’s contribution at 11 percent. A second to the motion was given.

With a motion on the table, Commissioner Scott Rubley suggested a reduction to 10 percent which would bring down the county’s contribution to $1.37 million and create a cost savings of $137,000. 

“Last year, we were about 1.4 percent above the recommended minimum,” said Rubley. “This year, 1.4 percent above the recommended minimum would be 10 percent. That would be my recommendation, but I know there’s already a motion so I’ll vote ‘no’ because of that.”

The motion to leave the contribution at 11 percent again this year was approved by Cox, County Executive Jimmy Haley, Road Superintendent Levie Glenn, and Commissioner Gary Martin. Rubley voted against it.

The committee recommendation will be sent to the full Warren County Commission for its consideration.