Mayor & Council candidate question regarding opting out of the Elected Officials Retirement Plan

To the mayoral and city council candiates-If you’re elected to the city council would you be willing to opt out of the Elected Officials Retirement Plan thus saving Tempe taxpayers 29% of your council salary?

The total amount Tempe puts into retirement benefits for part-time city council members is 40.64% when you count retirement, Social Security and Medicare. This doesn’t include the city employee medical benefits given to the mayor and council. The 29% number used up above is the statewide average for elected official contributions

Bill Richardson

Follow up Question:  How about opting out of the salary or at least taking a decreased amount? Say 10 or 20%? Also, maybe forgoing the auto allowance?

Joe Agins

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  1. Yes. However, I would never request or require that others do the same. We each have to make our own financial choices based on financial situation and family needs.

  2. Yes I would.

  3. Bill,

    Of course, this has gone from a question in theory, to a question in practice. Here is a link to the relevant statutes.–_clean_%20FINAL.pdf It appears I am not PERMITTED to opt out of the pension system. Under A.R.S. 38-804, it states,

    “All elected officials are members of the plan, except that a state elected official who is subject to
    term limits may elect not to participate in the plan.”

    As I am not a “stated elected official” or a elected official “subject to term limits,” I would read that to mean I am not permitted to elect out of the plan. This was information I was not aware of when I initially answered your question. Frankly, and this was a surprise to me as well.


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