Henderson County will receive a savings in the amount paid to insure employee’s enrolled in the Optional Group Term Life Program insurance this year.

The Commissioners Court approved an agreement with the Texas County and District Retirement System (TCDRS) Tuesday that costs the county about $65,000 less than the 2007 plan. County employees will see 10.33 percent taken out of their paycheck, compared with 10.79 percent last year. The rate includes a .29 percent cost of living adjustment.

County Treasurer Karin Smith said a number of factors converged to cause the life insurance savings.

“Seven percent is deducted from the employees pay and it goes to the Henderson County retirement account,” Smith said. “If that person retires from the county, the seven percent that the employee pays is combined with the 10.7 percent that the county pays in.”

Smith explained that if an employee left the county before attaining retirement, the seven percent deducted from his pay goes back to the employee. The additional 10.7 percent, however, stays with the county.

“Although employee turnover always has a down-side, in the case of retirement benefits, it’s good for the county,” Smith said.

The cost to the county is also affected by the yield on investments through the retirement fund, Smith said.

In a related agenda item, the commissioners tabled a proposal that would extend the life benefits to those who have retired under the TCDRS. The county would pay $25,000 to insure the 124 retirees that would be elegible for the benefit. Those covered would be eligible for a $5,000 death benefit.

Henderson County Judge David Holstein called for a motion regarding the coverage. When no commissioner spoke, McKinney moved to table the item.

The Texas Legislature created the TCDRS trust to provide a retirement program that pays pension and related benefits to qualifying employees of member counties and districts. Each county and district electing to be a part of TCDRS is treated as an individual retirement plan. TCDRS collectively administers all plans in accordance with state and federal law and invests their pooled assets.

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