Grand Traverse County to Boost Pension Funding

Grand Traverse County will boost payments made to its pension debt by more than $1 million per year.

County commissioners made the move at this week’s meeting, increasing their annual payment to the Municipal Employees Retirement System, or MERS.

Right now Grand Traverse County makes an annual $5.9 million payment. 

That will now increase by $1.1 million to $7 million a year.

The county administrator says the county has a $100 million pension obligation that’s only about 52% funded.

“We want to make sure we reach our pension obligation to 100% by the time that amortization agreement is complete. And maybe even ahead of time, if at all possible,” said Nate Alger, Grand Traverse County administrator.

The county will actually pay an extra $1.5 million this year. The more aggressive annual payments should shorten the length of time the county has to pay into its unfunded employee pensions.

Right now that contract runs through the year 2034.