Alabaster funds one-time bonus for city retirees

Alabaster recently approved a one-time payment for retired city employees. (File)

Alabaster recently approved a one-time bonus payment for retired city employees. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Some city of Alabaster retirees will receive one-time, lump-sum monetary bonuses beginning this October after the City Council agreed to fund the bonuses during a July 14 meeting.

The city will pay a total of $20,628 to fund the bonuses, which will be distributed to qualified employees by Retirement Systems of Alabama beginning in October. During its 2014 session, the Alabama Legislature passed a bill allowing cities participating in the RSA to fund the one-time bonus.

After the bonuses are paid, cities must recoup the RSA beginning in October 2015, according to the resolution.

“I think it’s something we should do,” Ward 4 Councilman Rick Walters said during a pre-meeting work session, noting the city can include the $20,628 in its 2014-2015 budget.

Through the program, retired city employees will receive $2 per month worked, meaning employees with 25 years will receive a $600 bonus. Retired city employees with fewer than 25 years will receive a minimum of $300.

“The importance of even this small, one-time addition to the benefits of your retirees can hardly be overstated,” read a letter to Alabaster from the state’s Retired State Employees Association. “Unlike traditional cost of living adjustments, the bonus cannot be approved in subsequent years. If not granted in 2014, it goes away forever.”

After the council passed the motion, 2000 Alabaster retiree Andrea Jones thanked the council for approving funding for the bonuses.