City of Savannah Employee Retirement Plan
The City’s Retirement Plan is a defined benefit plan. The pension benefit formula is based on % of final salary and years of service. The prescribed formula is outlined in the Pension Handbook.
The Plan is administered by a Retirement Board consisting of eight members as follows:
- City Manager
- The Chief Financial Officer of the City
- A Police Employee selected by Police Employees
- A Fire Employee selected by the Fire Employees
- A General Employee selected by the General Employees
- A member of the City Council selected by the City Council
- Two citizens at large selected by the Mayor and Alderman
Pension Board meetings are held on a quarterly basis and is open to the public. Click Here for the Pension Board Meeting Schedule
Barbara Veiock, Benefits Analyst
Pension Summary of Benefits
- Employees are covered under the pension plan with their first contribution into the plan.
- Each full- time employee is required to contribute 6.65% of his/her salary into the plan. This contribution is deducted from pay on a pre-tax basis.
- The City makes contributions on behalf of employees. The City’s contribution changes annually based on a study by pension actuaries who determine the amount the City needs to contribute in order to keep the plan funded for current and future retirement benefits.
- Employees are vested when they have contributed into the pension plan for five years.
- Both Occupational and Non-Occupational Disability benefits are available to employees under the retirement plan.
- City assumes all risks, not effected by stock market fluctuations
- Benefit is guaranteed for LIFE
Early Retirement Age
- General Employees: 52
- Uniform Police & Fire: 50
- Minimum Service Required: 10 Years
- Pension reduces ½ of 1% (.005) each month prior to normal retirement age
Normal Retirement Age
- General Employees: 57
- Uniform Police & Fire: 55
- Minimum Service Required: 5 Years
Sick Leave Credit at Retirement
Credited in Monthly Increments
- Age: up to 12 months credit
- Service: up to 12 months credit
May not be used to attain minimum 5 years vesting rights nor 10 years’ service to meet benefit eligibility
For complete Pension benefit details, please refer to the Pension Handbook.
Continuation of City Group Medical Coverage
Employees hired January 1, 2008 and after will be required to have 10 years of credited service prior to retirement in order to continue their City group medical coverage after retirement.
Upon separation or retirement, you may elect to the following:
Election of Vesting
Employees who have contributed into the Plan for 5 or more years may elect to vest the pension contributions in the Plan. A monthly retirement benefit will be paid to the separated employee (participant) upon reaching retirement age as defined by the Plan.
Election of Direct Rollover to an IRA or Other Qualifying Retirement Plan
Contributions made to the Plan prior to January 1, 2001 were made on an after-tax basis. Contributions made to the Plan after January 1, 2001 were made on a pre-tax basis. The contributions will be sent directly to the Trustee that you designate. You will not have income tax withholdings on the rollover of these funds. If you decide not to have eligible rollover contributions transferred directly to an IRA or other qualified retirement plan, the City is required to withhold 20% of the payment for Federal income taxes. You have thirty (30) days from your separation date to make an election for a direct rollover.
Election of Refund
- Elect a refund of all pre-tax pension contributions and interest accrued
- Elect a refund of all after-tax pension contributions
A Pension Election Form must be submitted at time of separation or retirement. If the election form has not been submitted at the end of 30 days, non-vested contributions will be automatically refunded, and the required taxes withheld.
Please send all Pension Election Forms to Human Resources for processing by fax at (912) 651-6706 or mail to P.O Box 1027 Savannah, GA 31402. Form must be notarized prior to submission.
Can I withdraw funds from my pension while I’m an active employee?
No; the City of Savannah’s Pension Plan cannot be borrowed against or withdrawn prior to separation or retirement.
Can I reduce or increase my contributions to the fund?
No; eligible employees may only contribute 6.65% to the pension fund.