Town's pension funds are 'secure'

The pension plan for New Milford town and school employees has served the municipality well in recent years.

In 2012, the Pension Committee removed John Hancock as asset management adviser and actuarial, because Hancock had discontinued some services the town required.

According to committee chairman Tom Pilla, Principal Trust Co. became the management adviser, with Angell Pension Group filling the actuarial role.

Investment strategies were changed, too, and since then the plan's assets have grown.

From Jan. 1 to Aug. 31 this year, the plan grew almost $6.6 million, reaching an ending asset balance of $51.2 million on Aug. 31.

The 50-year-old plan now has more than 700 participants, some collecting pensions, some vested, but not yet eligible to collect, and some still paying in.

"The town has been very fiscally responsible in funding its fiduciary responsibility to its employees," Pilla noted.

"This kind of profit takes the pressure off the annual contribution by the town in funding the pension actuary."

The committee also had the Angell Pension Group sift through reams of legalese in the various pension agreements to create easy-to-read and clearly defined pension summaries for each group of participants.

Covered employees include police, dispatchers, sewer workers and members of the Teamsters and AFSCME unions.

The summaries are in a question-and-answer format concerning such matters as: What happens if my employment terminates? What if I become disabled? and What are my survivor benefits if I die?

"The pension assets of the town are strong," Pilla said. "We are now in compliance with IRS laws. Employees can feel comfortable that their pensions are secure."; 860-355-7322.