The Cobb employee pension fund is just 52 percent funded. AJC file photo
Photo: For the AJC
Photo: For the AJC

Cobb approves $2 million extra for pension fund

Cobb commissioners approved a one-time, $2 million additional payment into the county’s ailing pension fund at their regular meeting Tuesday night. 

At 52 percent, Cobb’s is one of the worst-funded pension programs in the state. In the late nineties, the county drastically increased benefits but failed to shore up the fund even in the market’s heyday. 

The county’s credit rating agencies took notice as well, and issued a warning last year. 

“We have to show a commitment that we’re on our way to 100 percent” funded, said County Chairman Mike Boyce. “This is both for those current employees and also for the raters in New York.”

The money came from the county’s health fund, which pays for employee benefits.

The move was supported by Matt Babcock, the pension advocate for the Cobb firefighters union.

Making additional contributions above what is required by law will “expose those invested dollars to more years of market appreciation,” which will save taxpayer dollars in the long run, he wrote in an email to the chairman. 

Last year, the county adopted several reforms to its pension program including 60-day notification of changes.

The changes reporting by the AJC showing the pension had become less generous over time for new hires while some senior officials who retired at the top collected as much as $24,000 a month.

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