FLORENCE — The city of Florence may change the retirement package for city employees in a move that would widely expand investment access while saving the city nearly $250,000 a year.

The council's Finance Committee agreed this week to recommend moving the $80 million investment account to Morgan Stanley. The account is currently managed by MetLife.

The council will consider the move during its Tuesday meeting.

Human Resources Director Keith Owsley said the existing retirement program allows a choice of 25 investment funds. Morgan Stanley's would provide approximately 1,400.

"It's basic Investment 101," Owsley said. "Right now, we don't have a diversified portfolio with the city. By investing in Morgan Stanley, we'll have a diversified portfolio."

In addition, the fees will be cut in half, saving the city $244,000 a year, he said.

Owsley said the agreement with MetLife requires a 30-day written notice.

He said he sent an email to city workers letting them known about the likely change.

The city's Benefits Committee also has recommended the change, Owsley told the Finance Committee.

Council President Dick Jordan, who is chairman of the Finance Committee, said the move works for the city and its employees.

"It gives a lot of options, plus we're saving on fees," Jordan said. "I know the employees will appreciate this."

Owsley said this is the best option he has seen in his work in the public or private sector.

"It's going to perform better," he said.

Owsley said a smooth transition will be important. He said it likely would take two days from the time MetLife releases the account and Morgan Stanley receives it.

"It has to be orchestrated well because I don't want them left in limbo for more than those two days," he said.

bernie.delinski@timesdaily.com or 256-740-5739. Twitter @TD_BDelinski

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(1) comment

Jerry Underwood

It may save the city money but it will cos the employees everything they have worked to accomplish for decades. The good ol quick buck. That is all politicians care about

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