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El Paso County pension checks approved 

click to enlarge County Treasurer Mark Lowderman: Voted to help retirees. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • County Treasurer Mark Lowderman: Voted to help retirees.

Beneficiaries of the El Paso County Retirement Plan can look forward to an extra check for 2017 following a vote by the board of directors on Dec. 11.

"The board approved the additional check unanimously," reports Board Chair and County Treasurer Mark Lowderman. "It will be a full check, paid in January 2018 to all retirees, including those that have retired through December 1, 2017."

We reported on the request from several retirees earlier this month.

The bonus will cost about $2.4 million — a small amount for a large fund, but nevertheless a hit considering that the pension fund is only about 70.2 percent funded. From the story:
Lowderman says the plan used to give COLAs of 10 percent per year in the mid 1980s, but those were cut to 3 to 5 percent from 1986 to 2001. The last COLA — just 2 percent — was given in 2005. One-time bonus checks have been given in 1995, 2004, 2006 and 2007.

Since then, retirees haven’t received either a COLA or a bonus payment. That’s why they’re struggling to make ends meet, they told plan board members.

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