On Wednesday, Tumlin said he had been thinking a lot about the lack of a survivor benefit and its cost to the city.
"I go to a lot of retirement parties and a lot of (city employees) are retiring in their 50s," he said.
With no survivor benefit, it makes sense for employees to leave the city as soon as they are fully vested in pension plan, perhaps taking their experience to another job with more generous benefits.
"We've invested a lot in our people," Tumlin said. The implication is that losing them early is a hidden cost to Marietta.
The planned appeals process retroactively includes Cosper and perhaps some other employees as well. Some 13 vested employees have died prior to retirement under the 29-year-old policy, but the appeal is limited to those who have died in the past five years.
There are other conditions as well. The original plan included a provision stating that the couple should be married at least a decade prior to the employee's death. The final version passed by the council trimmed that to one year.
The pension board still has to approve the council's recommendation. But Tumlin said the board asked for council guidance, so he expects board members will be receptive to the plan.
"It protects (Cosper) and it protects the city," he said.