‘We are losing good employees’: Marietta reviews maligned pension plan

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‘We are losing good employees’: Marietta reviews maligned pension plan

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Mayor Steve “Thunder” Tumlin discusses the pension plan during a Marietta City Council special work session on Wednesday. The city’s pension plan withheld benefits from Janet Cosper when her husband, longtime city administrator Hal Cosper, died. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Marietta is considering revising its much-criticized pension plan.

In a meeting of the City Council Wednesday, Mayor Steve “Thunder” Tumlin instructed the city’s pension board to study the lack of survivor benefits for the families of employees who die before retirement and return to the council with recommendations.

“I think we are losing good employees because of this,” Tumlin said. “When something slaps us in the face, we ought to look at it.”

Discussion of the pension plan was prompted by my earlier AJC Watchdog columns on Hal Cosper, who died last July, just a few months before his planned retirement. Despite having given more than 20 years of work to the city, wife Janet discovered she would not receive her husband’s pension because the city’s plan did not offer a survivor’s benefit for employees who died while they were still working.

It is unclear whether the city would entertain retroactively covering Janet Cosper. But Tumlin referenced her situation in his comments.

“The bottom line we have a survivor of an employee who did not receive benefits because of our plan,” he said.

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