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Russellville employees get Tier 1 benefits 

After Monday’s Russellville City Council meeting, all Russellville Tier II plan members will now receive the benefits of Tier I. 

Anyone who hired in after 2013 falls under the classification of a Tier II employee. Voting for all Tier II members to receive Tier I benefits will also mean anyone else who hires in will automatically receive Tier I benefits. 

“Any time we can do this, I believe it is going to be a win-win for both the employee and the city,” said Russellville Mayor David Grissom. “I believe this is something we will really see the positive impact from.” 

Grissom said the main difference in benefits for Tier I and Tier II deal with retirement. With Tier II, an employee must be at least 62 to retire. 

“Younger employees may not appreciate this change now, but you can guarantee they’ll appreciate it when they get close to retirement age,” said Russellville Chief of Police Chris Hargett. 

The cost of offering these benefits will be an extra $7,000 per year for the city, and employees will have to put in an extra 1.5 percent from their paychecks. 

Grissom said he expects offering Tier I benefits to be a great tool to encourage new hires for Russellville. 

“I have already talked to another mayor close by, and he said after they passed it, they are seeing several fire and police coming from other cities because the area where they had been decided not to pass this,” Grissom said. 

The resolution to provide Tier I benefits to Tier II employees passed unanimously, with councilmembers agreeing it will be beneficial to the city and the employees. 

“This will be a fantastic tool to use to recruit people,” said City Councilman David Palmer. “It is tough to compete with the private sector without being able to offer some nice benefits. Tier II is nice but nowhere near as nice as Tier I.”