The Starke County Sheriff’s Pension Fund is funded at a historically high level thanks to action earlier this week by the county council. Members voted unanimously to move $65,890.98 from the County Adjusted Gross Income Tax fund into the pension line item. Auditor Kay Chaffins explained that the state Department of Local Government Finance does not want the CAGIT money to go into the county general fund this year. Council President Dave Pearman says the transfer is consistent with the overall vision for the pension fund.
“Generally we have been working towards this direction for some time, actually. We just didn’t know how much we were going to commit,” said Pearman.
Pearman adds that moving the money will help to stabilize the pension fund and will also save the county money in terms of penalties.
“Technically the 2008, we cut that off, and this brings us back prospectively, so we’re actually on time. In theory there’s still some money to be made up, but we won’t be penalized at this point. We’re approaching a penalty phase for not being on time,” said Pearman.
Pearman adds the county’s fund is in really good shape from an accounting point of view.
“Even the state police are only 80 percent funded, and that happened through legislation. Prior to that they were bouncing between the high 60s and low 70s. Most pension plans are in the 70s right now because of the economy. We weren’t in dire straits, we just weren’t on time. Since we’ll be on time after this, our next year payment will only be 118. We’ll be in really good shape as far as the amount we have to contribute next year,” said Pearman.