Walker County is one of five counties in the state that does not give certain elected officials access to the Retirement Systems of Alabama for their retirement. Currently, officials such as the sheriff, probate judge and revenue commissioner pay into a fund for their retirement. When they no longer serve the county, they are appointed to a supernumerary position and are paid from that account by the county.
A change being considered by commissioners would eliminate supernumerary positions in the county and allow those officials and other elected officials to pay into the RSA the same as all other county employees.
“This would not be retroactive. Anyone on supernumerary would continue to be,” Commission Chairman Billy Luster said. “This would be for new elected officials. Most other counties have voted to do away with this, and it’s something we are going to take a real close look at.”
The resolution would also provide current elected officials paying into supernumerary to switch to RSA if they desired.
Sheriff John Mark Tirey said he hasn’t been consulted about the issue, but he would be open to it.
“I attempted to get this done for the office of sheriff several years ago,” he said. “We had a local bill in the Legislature but it didn’t pass.”
The resolution would be considered a local amendment to the state’s constitution, which would require a legislative act.
Commission members currently do not have access to supernumerary or RSA. This act would allow commissioners the ability to pay into the RSA.
“I would not be for this if it gave us anything extra,” District 1 Commissioner Keith Davis said. “If it is the same thing that all other county employees are able to get, I would consider the change.”
When the issue was brought up at Monday’s meeting, commissioners voted unanimously to table it.
“We didn’t have enough information to be able to vote Monday,” District 4 Commissioner Steven Aderholt said. “We need to be sure exactly what this move would do before we make a decision. We’ll talk about it at a work session and should be ready to vote on it at our next meeting.”