MLGW discusses making changes to employee pensions - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MLGW discusses making changes to employee pensions

MLGW workers pay into a pension fund, not a 401K, and they don't pay into Medicare or Social Security.

That means when it comes time to retire all they have to live on is the company's pension.

Dick Gardiner worked for MLGW for 35 years. Now he sits on the pension board. Thursday, Gardiner asked company leaders to boost pension rates for retirees. He said close to 700 employees are living at or below the poverty line.

"Determine whether or not you can live, whether or not you can buy groceries, buy drugs for your ailments," Gardiner said.

A pension hike would cost MLGW an additional three million dollars.

MLGW Board Attorney John McCullough said a decision was put off until more numbers could be crunched.

"Our board is looking at all of our costs very hard," McCullough said. "We're facing high gas prices this winter. We're doing everything we possibly can do keep our costs down at this time."

MLGW is looking at nearly doubled costs for gas as well as negotiating a new contract with union workers.

President Joseph Lee asked for patience.

"We want to keep MLGW strong for all of our stakeholders and where we can continue the wonderful opportunity and making sure we are compensated well and offer enhancement opportunities where we can for our retirees," he said.

The MLGW board plans to once again discuss the pension hike at their next meeting.

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