Phenix City retirees get pension hike

Retirees and pensioners from the city of Phenix City will be receiving a cost of living increase in Phenix City's fiscal 2008 budget.

Phenix City Council has found the money in its proposed budget to give city retirees the 7-percent increase passed by the Alabama Legislature in 2006 for all retirement programs under the Retirement Systems of Alabama. The increase had a two-year window.

Phenix City could not find the money in its fiscal 2007 budget to fund the increase, but adjusted its appropriations enough to add the increase for fiscal 2008.

The fiscal 2008 budget will be voted on next month and goes into effect in September.

"It hasn't been approved yet, but its in the budget. We wanted to do it last year," said Mayor Jeff Hardin. "This year we felt that we needed to do it, so we just found the money."

The increase will cost the city about $140,000 each year. The city will delay its plan to put a new roof on the Central Activities Center until next year, using the money set aside for that project to fund the increase.

"I just thank them for doing this for the retirees," said Jack Kinney, the president of the Russell County chapter of the Alabama Retired State Employees Association. "We needed this greatly."