Decision about city retirees' benefits made but not released - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Decision about city retirees' benefits made but not released

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

Mayor Jim Strickland has made a decision about benefits for retired Memphis employees, but he is refusing to announce his decision until at least Wednesday.

It's a long-awaited decision that has created much debate in Memphis.

The emotional issue pits retired city employees and their families against the current administration over health insurance benefits.

The retirees are worried about the city possibly moving retiree benefits to an exchange where deductibles and premiums could rise significantly.

A spokesperson for Mayor Strickland said the decision has been made, but Strickland doesn't want to announce it on Election Day, when so many people are distracted.

"On a topic this complicated, the mayor wants to make an announcement when people are able to fully digest the facts.  We also welcome the opportunity to explain any decision the mayor makes to the media. "

In response, Donna Kirk with Our Fallen Heroes Foundation (a group that has been leading the effort to convince the Mayor not to make changes that could increase health insurance costs for retirees and their families), released the following statement supporting Strickland's decision to hold off on the announcement: 

"We see that the postponement of the Mayors decision as a positive however we acknowledge that delaying will cause a even shorter amount of timeframe to enroll in the proposed plans. We are hopefully that this postponement is to allow the Mayor to adequately evaluate the factual Burden Increase on the affect retirees."

We will keep you up to date on Strickland's decision on health insurance benefits for retirees as soon as it's announced.

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