Pension approved for SD&G county councillors

The United Counties building and Provincial Offences Act courthouse at 22 Pitt Street in Cornwall. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

SD&G – County councillors have green-lighted their ticket to a pension with the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS).

Council voted Monday morning for current and future SD&G county councillors to be part of the defined benefit pension plan.

The move is expected to cost the upper-tier government about $8,000 this year and $12,000 every year after that.

The current council will have the option of buying into the system through a nine per cent draw on their council paycheque, which will be matched by the county.

There are two current councillors who can’t participate because they are older than 71, CFO Vanessa Metcalfe explained.

Future county councillors will be automatically enrolled with no opt-out, she said.

The contributions will start May 1.

The practice of upper-tier councillors being part of the OMERS system is not uncommon, CAO Tim Simpson told Cornwall Newswatch. County councillors in neighbouring Leeds-Grenville are not part of the defined benefit pension plan.

SD&G county councillors make $11,204 while the warden makes $30,252. Those salaries don’t include honorariums and payments for meetings, conferences and mileage.