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Posts tagged: Spokane Employees Retirement System

How to calculate Verner’s (or most other city workers’) pension

Former Mayor Mary Verner's salary and pension request, which was denied by the city, has raised questions from several readers who wonder how an elected leader can be eligible to start receiving a pension at 55 after eight years of service.

Spokane's City Council and mayor are eligible for a pension under the Spokane Employees Retirement System, which includes most city workers who aren't police officers or firefighters.

But to be eligible they must work at the city for at least five years. That means an a elected official needs to win reelection to earn a pension. Verner served on City Council before becoming mayor, so she qualifies. Former City Councilman Richard Rush, who lost reelection, does not.

Employees who are part of the pension system currently contribute 7.75 percent of their pay toward the pension plan. The city contributes an equal amount. That amount was increased in 2008 from 6.72 percent of an employee's pay.

Here's how the basic pension works for workers hired or starting a term of office before 2009.

A retired city worker is eligible to start receiving a pension once they turn 50.

The basic pension formula is:

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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