Friday, November 29, 2002
Middlesex Retirement System slashes FY04 assessments
Responding to a major uproar following the announcement of increases as high as 145% in FY04 retirement plan assessments, the Middlesex Retirement System revised its projections and lowered assessments by 50% or more. Carlisle's FY04 assessment has dropped from $388,924, a 30.55% increase over FY03, to $324,632, a 9.0% increase. The town will pay $297,924 this fiscal year (FY03).
The Middlesex Retirement System provides retirement benefits to all municipal employees in Carlisle, except teachers who are covered under the state teachers' retirement fund. Sixty-one Northwest towns, as well as some hospitals, housing authorities, water districts and other municipal departments in the region subscribe to the system.
Earlier this year, the system announced that due to the "poor economy," which resulted in a drop in fund assets and increase in liabilities, member communities would have to face unusually high assessments. The average increase was 44%. The Town of Acton was assessed a 58.8% increase, Bedford 40.1%, and Hudson 70.1%. In the face of an angry response from members, with threats to pull out of the system, Middlesex revised its projections from "conservative" to "moderate."
State and local authorities have expressed concerns about the management of the retirement system and the "credibility" of its first and current projections. Carlisle Town Administrator Madonna McKenzie told the FinTeam on November 26 that she and other town managers will be meeting with the Middlesex management and may seek legislation to provide additional safeguards or alternatives.
© 2002 The Carlisle Mosquito