Both Steven Barry and Lumon May yesterday told Inweekly that they wouldn’t accept any back pay regarding the 401(a) annuity retirement plan. Still, they want to see if the board can legally offer restitution to the senior management staff not informed about the program––whose participants have seen their retirement accounts grow four to six times more than those in the Florida Retirement System.
At the Thursday, June 3 commission meeting, Commissioner Barry pointed out that the majority of the 401(a) enrollees are senior managers hired in 2019 or later. Inweekly has found longer-serving senior managers have not been informed of their eligibility as late as yesterday morning.
“Personally, I’m not going to seek any back payments, but I am extremely supportive of continuing to seek a legal opinion about a fair and equitable resolution for our senior management employees, many of whom were never informed of even the existence of the 401(a) plan, much less the details of the plan,” Commissioner Barry shared in a written statement sent to Inweekly yesterday morning.
He added, “We have a responsibility to advocate for the fair treatment of all our eligible employees, not only a select few.”
In a face-to-face interview Tuesday afternoon, Commissioner May voiced concern over how the employees have been treated by the county’s HR department and wanted the issue investigated. He, too, won’t accept any back pay.
“Rick, watch the meeting and see what I said,” May said. “I repeatedly stated the issue for me was about the senior managers that have worked and sacrificed without being told about the 401(a) program. I seconded Commissioner Barry’s motion to discuss the program and later seconded his amended motion to get a legal opinion on the matter.”
He added, “I never said I would accept any back pay. But, as I stated in the meeting, my primary concern is whether our HR department treated all senior managers the same and gave them all the same info.”
Inweekly has recorded the discussion and will post later this morning the transcript so readers can see what was actually said in the meeting.
While Commissioner May would not commit to making a motion to investigate how HR handled the 401(a) program, he admitted he has concerns about the HR department, specifically on how the department has treated employees that were infected by the COVID-19 virus.
“I believe all county employees should be treated fairly,” said May.
Inweekly will have more on pension debate in the June 10 issue.