DeKalb CEO Proposes $9M Employee Pension Plan Boost

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Monday, February 11th, 2019

DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond has proposed committing $9 million in additional contributions to strengthen the county’s employee pension fund. The contributions will be made annually over the next five years to help reduce the county’s unfunded pension liability.

“DeKalb County’s goal is to get the employee pension fund on firm financial footing’’ said CEO Thurmond. “The proposal is a long-term strategy to strengthen and stabilize the employee pension fund and ensure financial integrity in the fund going forward.”

The proposal includes paying down existing debts and increasing the recommended contribution to 20.91 percent or $61,080,344 for Fiscal Year 2019. The county may also consider a one-time additional contribution at the end of the year if county reserves are available.

The county's retirement pension plan is valued at $1.2 billion and is approximately 52 percent funded. The administration’s recommendation aims to fully fund the employee pension plan by 2043.

More than 11,000 active employees, retired workers, and their beneficiaries are currently enrolled in the plan and the proposal does not increase employee contributions to address the funding gap.

CEO Thurmond has prioritized establishing fiscal integrity to DeKalb County’s government by eliminating a structural deficit of $24.7 million, establishing a projected $103 million rainy day fund and protecting the county’s future investments.

The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners will vote on CEO Thurmond’s pension and Fiscal Year 2019 budget proposal by Feb. 28, 2019.