Elmira will cut back employer contribution charges for pensions, saving taxpayers cash, based on Mayor Mandell

(WETM) – New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced reductions in employer contribution rates to the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) for its two systems – the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) and the Police and Fire Retirement System ( PFRS). The adjusted rates will have an impact on payments in the next public financial year 2022-23. In addition, DiNapoli reduced the assumed long-term return on fund investments from 6.8% to 5.9%.

“The strength of the fund gives us the ability to weather volatile markets. Our prudent strategy for long-term, stable returns helps ensure that our state’s pension fund remains one of the strongest and best-funded in the country, ”said DiNapoli. “While the reduction in employer contribution rates is welcome news for taxpayers, our investment decisions are always based on what is best for our 1.1 million working and retired members and their beneficiaries.”

Elmira City Mayor Dan Mandell said this was great news for the city, which will be paying five percent less to its employees’ pension fund. He also said there will be more than one percent savings on the police and fire department pension fund. Mandell believes this will save taxpayers money in the long run as these funds will be reallocated in the 2022 budget.

“It’s a pleasant surprise. We are happy about that, especially for the upcoming budget in 2022. We hope for a tax increase of zero percent. [Funds will redistribute to] all other needs like police and fire brigade or wherever we have a great need, ”continued Mandell.

The estimated average employer contribution rate for ERS will be reduced from 16.2% to 11.6% of wages. The estimated average employer contribution rate for PFRS will be reduced from 28.3% to 27% of wages. The fund’s actuary estimates that the expected employer contributions for February 1, 2023 total $ 4.4 billion, which is $ 1.5 billion less than the expected employer contributions for the same period for 2022 – the lowest since 2011 .

This is the fourth time DiNapoli has cut the assumed rate of return on the state pension fund as economic and demographic conditions have changed. In 2010 he lowered the rate from 8% to 7.5%, in 2015 to 7% and in 2019 to 6.8%.

According to the National Association of State Retirement Administrators, the average assumed return on state pension funds as of August 2021 is 7.0%. Of the 133 government pension plans listed, 34 had assumed a return of less than 7%. There are plans with a fiscal year ending on June 30, 2021, and many have already announced that they will cut their assumed yields further.

DiNapoli also announced that the coverage ratio of the state pension fund is 99.3%.

The annualized returns on the state pension fund are 11.17% over the last five years, 9.19% over 10 years, 7.65% over 20 years and 8.96% over 30 years.

Employer rates for NYSLRS are determined based on investment performance and actuarial assumptions recommended by the Pension Scheme Actuary and approved by DiNapoli. You will find a copy of the actuary’s report here.

In 2012, DiNapoli began giving employers access to a two-year forecast of their annual pension bill. Employers can use this forecast when building their budgets. The estimates of the required contributions vary by employer and depend on factors such as the pension plans they have adopted, salaries and the distribution of their employees among the six pension levels.

There are more than 3,000 employers participating in ERS and PFRS and more than 300 different combinations of retirement plans.

Payments under the new tariffs are due by February 1, 2023, but employers receive a discount if they pay by December 15, 2022.

SLED: Former Moncks Nook officer charged with misconduct for accepting cash to cut back site visitors tickets

MONCKS CORNER, SC (WCBD) – The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has formally charged a former Moncks Corner police officer with accepting money to reduce traffic fines.

Randall Scott resigned on allegations of wrongdoing in May after it discovers he accepted payment for the dismissal of traffic fines traffic fines.

According to Scott’s SC Criminal Justice Academy records, a man was in a traffic court on April 22 when he told the courtroom that he had already paid his fine to an officer.

Monck’s Corner man who shot the Berkeley County MP with a gun at US marshals who were sentenced to 30 years federal prison

The judge ordered an investigation and Cpl. Scott admitted taking money from 10 to 12 people to dismiss their tickets.

Scott estimated he was taking about $ 1,200 from citizens and said he was simply trying to help people cut their points or dismiss tickets.

Scott is charged with misconduct. This is a developing story, keep checking counton2.com for updates.

San Diego Considers Eliminating Parking House Necessities to Save Companies Cash, Scale back Air pollution – NBC 7 San Diego

If you think finding parking space outside of your favorite store is difficult, it could get even harder. That’s because the city of San Diego is considering letting some companies use their existing parking lots for something else.

Freshly Faded Barber Shop was full of customers on Wednesday; likewise their parking lot in North Park.

“We call it ‘No Park’, not North Park,” said Freshly Faded owner Derrick Banks. “Because there is hardly any space left to park.”

To make matters worse, the city is considering abolishing a certain number of parking spaces for companies. The city’s proposal will ease the burden of new developments, which currently cost up to $ 25,000 per booth and must have at least one space per 1,000 square feet.

The city is also pushing for more pedestrian, bicycle and traffic use.

With approval, companies can provide as much parking space as their customers need, or use the space to expand their showrooms or for al fresco dining.

Café Madeline hasn’t eaten indoors in over a year and benefited from additional outdoor seating.

“If this parklet didn’t take up two spaces, we essentially couldn’t have stayed open, so it makes a difference for small businesses,” said Café Madeline owner Christine Perez.

Perez also calls the parking space proposal complicated.

“We have some people in the community who actually park their cars there overnight because they don’t have parking in the neighborhood, so it’s kind of a double-edged sword,” said Perez.

For the time being, the proposal only applies to companies in priority transit areas that are within 800 meters of an important stop.

This does not apply to public paths that fall under the city’s open-air restaurant ordinance – now extended to July 2022.

The proposal to eliminate parking spaces will be presented to the planning commission on Thursday and is expected to be presented to the city council in July.

The city council approved a similar change two years ago, repealing parking regulations for multi-family housing developments built within half a mile of a tram or bus stop.

Three steps to cut back your stress about cash

Women are stressed out about money, not least thanks to the Covid 19 pandemic. This is according to a recent survey by Fidelity which found that 70% of women are stressed out about their long-term savings and investments.

Fidelity interviewed 1,902 U.S. adults, including 951 women, to investigate the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on women.

Overall, 60% of women surveyed say they were much more stressed during the pandemic, with a number of factors contributing to their stress. These factors include their children’s emotional and mental well-being, everyday finances, and long-term savings.

Additionally, Almost 40% of women are considering cutting their hours or leaving the workforce The survey found that the responsibility for caring has increased.

Even so, many women take steps to take control of their finances. Fidelity saw a 41% year-over-year increase in women using Fidelity services alone rather than through their employer.

To help clients manage their finances and reduce their money-related stress, Fidelity recommends three key steps.

1. Build emergency savings

If there is one thing that can be learned from the pandemic, it is important to have a pillow of emergency money on hand.

First, build up enough emergency savings to cover expenses for three to six months, says Lorna Kapusta, head of women and loyalty at Fidelity Investments. It is important that these funds are readily available to insure you in the event of a job loss or an unexpected emergency, she adds.

Some women choose to put aside One year worth of expenses because it makes them feel more comfortable, says Kapusta. That’s fine too. Make sure your plan works the best for you and your goals.

2. Try to save more than 10% of your salary for retirement

It’s never too early to retire. Contribution to a Employer Sponsored 401 (k) Plan This option now allows you to put away part of your salary and defer paying taxes on those savings until you withdraw them when you retire. It is also likely that your employer will offer you a match for a certain percentage of your contributions, which is essentially free money.

If you can’t save the recommended 15% of your salary right away, start with what to put aside. However, try to save at least 10% of your income.

Women who save 10% of their salary or more felt less stressed about their financial future, Kapusta says. And saving 15% of your salary during your career should help you meet the recommended goal of saving 10 times your salary for retirement, Kapusta adds.

If you don’t have access to an employer-sponsored 401 (k) plan, there are other retirement accounts that can help you plan for the future and get tax benefits, such as: B. traditional or Roth IRAs.

3. Create a roadmap for your goals

No matter how high or small your salary is, you should always develop a financial plan or roadmap for yourself or with your partner, Kapusta says.

“The idea is to know what you want today in five years and have an idea of ​​where you want to be 30 years from now,” she explains. “And then you set up your money to achieve those goals.”

Regardless of your goals, having a plan can help you better manage your finances and stay on track to meet those goals. That goes for everything from short-term goals like big purchases to long-term goals like buying a home.

“Knowing where your money is, what you owe, and how it works for you has significantly reduced women’s stress levels about their finances,” says Kapusta.

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Supervisors cut back HIRTA funding, switch withheld cash to RSVP – Newton Day by day Information

The Heart of Iowa Regional Transit Agency (HIRTA) will receive less money from Jasper County early in fiscal 2022. Those withheld funds – about $ 7,000 – were instead given to another local transportation organization: the Jasper County Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).

The county donated around $ 34,000 to HIRTA last year. At a budget workshop on February 16, Jasper County Supervisor Brandon Talsma suggested transferring $ 7,000 to $ 10,000 from HIRTA to RSVP, with the help of colleague Denny Carpenter. The board of directors opted for a $ 7,000 discount.

“I think we need to look at moving funds from HIRTA to RSVP on condition that RSVP believes that additional funds will continue to fund and expand the RIDE program,” said Talsma.

Both organizations serve as public transportation systems for residents of Jasper County.

Founded in 1981, HIRTA provides transportation services to seven counties in central Iowa: Boone, Dallas, Jasper, Madison, Marion, Story, and Warren. All vehicles are ADA accessible and open to people of all ages, abilities, and income levels. The drivers even go through training programs when they rent.

RSVP drivers are made up of volunteers aged 55 and over who are reimbursed for fuel miles spent on trips. With its Jasper County RIDE program, the organization transports citizens across the region to medically necessary appointments and doctor visits.

HIRTA and RSVP receive public funding from the County and City of Newton and federal funding as appropriate.

Talsma argued that the city pays HIRTA about the same amount as the county, but suggested that the cost was disproportionately in Newton’s favor. Even after taking into account the city’s larger population and the likelihood of more drivers per trip, it costs almost $ 2.75 per trip. The county costs $ 40 one way.

“At $ 40 per trip for the small communities and areas without legal personality, that’s not exactly a good use of taxpayers’ money,” said Talsma.

Public transport is expensive to operate

Brooke Ramsey, Business Development Manager at HIRTA, confirmed Talsma’s concerns: The trips within the county are “much more expensive to operate” and cause more wear and tear on vehicles, especially on back roads.

More fuel is used. The drivers are on the road longer. And fewer people drive at the same time. So the costs inevitably add up.

In the past few years, too, HIRTA has had its fair share of financial difficulties. Only recently has it seen some form of relief. In December 2020, Newton News reported that HIRTA was now at a “sustainable level”.

Doug Cupples, chairman of the Jasper County Board of Supervisors, disagreed that money should be taken away from HIRTA and complained that it was expensive to run these types of transportation programs, which are often important tools for communities.

“I see a big problem when we don’t have this service in our community,” said Cupples. “… The people who rely on this service, the vast majority of them are people who need it.”

Disproportionate cost-benefit problems are worrying the district’s supervisory authorities

Talsma understands the benefits of HIRTA’s services to the community, but said the county needs to consider the cost benefits. Ramsey said public transportation across the country is typically used by people who are “passage dependent,” meaning they have no other form of transportation.

Sometimes this is caused by income restrictions or individual disabilities. But Ramsey said public transportation “makes people live independently longer”. However, HIRTA still faces obstacles.

Internally, HIRTA is confronted with the fluctuation of its employees, which puts the organization in a difficult position. The pandemic also affected the company. Although spending was reduced due to government-ordered shutdowns, Ramsey said there was still more than $ 400,000 in spending in Jasper County alone.

Ramsey said in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019 that HIRTA’s cost per trip in Jasper County (including Newtons) was $ 17.40; Due to the pandemic, the cost increased to $ 31.36 per trip.

HIRTA qualified for economic relief through the CARES Act, which was passed by Congress and incorporated into law at the end of March 2020. To receive state and federal dollars, HIRTA must also adjust funding, or as Ramsey puts it, “dollar-for-dollar” funding.

“And we have to have local sources to use those federal dollars or we have to allocate those federal dollars elsewhere,” she said. “… We no longer have contracted services as we used to because shops are closed and people stay at home.

“As a result, our resources to find the right dollars are more difficult this year and are expected next year as well.”

In addition to the reduced funding, HIRTA will be denied vehicle replacement

Before Talsma made its proposal to reduce HIRTA’s funding at the budget workshop, Cupples advocated keeping the county’s $ 34,000 stake for fiscal 2022, but refused to provide the organization with adequate funding for a vehicle replacement to deliver.

Ramsey said a vehicle needs to be replaced in Jasper County and has requested HIRTA Match Matchs to pay for it. If HIRTA cannot find a local match, the vehicle will be reassigned to a different transit system. After that, the operation of the vehicle to be replaced becomes a greater effort for the company.

Instead of replacing vehicles every five years, HIRTA had to extend the vehicles to a 10-year life cycle with 200,000 to 300,000 miles.

“The cost of keeping these vehicles running adds to the problem of making these trips so expensive,” she said. “It’s difficult. It’s definitely your budget and your choice, but there are challenges when we can’t fully fund the service or replacement we have.”

Regardless, discussions about future funding are likely to continue into the next budget year, Cupples suggested.

“It is very likely that this will be an issue that will come up again next year,” said Cupples. “… There was some thought to look elsewhere to see if someone else could do it differently.”

Other municipalities do not contribute to HIRTA services

While HIRTA serves the other parishes in Jasper County, none of the small town parishes has chosen to provide funding. Ramsey said the organization’s finance and incentive committees have asked these cities for fair funding, starting at $ 2 per capita.

So far, the same municipalities have neither committed funds to HIRTA for the 2022 financial year nor asked them to participate in their budget workshops.

“Remember, four months of fiscal (year) 2020 included the pandemic and stalled, so these numbers are not necessarily the demand we would normally see,” Ramsey said. “We keep our fingers crossed and hope that people will start getting their vaccines so we can get back to a certain degree of normalcy.”

HIRTA wants to be prepared for this. Ramsey added that she could set up a time to provide the board of directors with more details about the importance of public transportation systems and why they are soliciting assistance from county government bodies. Ramsey says HIRTA is doing everything it can to be sustainable.

“But there are some costs that we cannot control, such as the cost of vehicles,” she said. “We can buy vehicles at a much lower cost than the average person because of the government contracts to which we have access and the binding force that goes with them.

“… We understand that it is expensive and that we must continue to face a constant challenge.”

HIRTA’s government funding formula is largely based on the number of trips offered. Fewer trips and fewer miles mean less funding received from state and other federal sources, Ramsey said.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or cbraunschweig@newtondailynews.com

Marq-Tran to obtain grant cash in direction of undertaking that may scale back COVID-19 unfold

MARQUETTE, me. (WLUC) – The grant is to install one Quantum Automated wheelchair security System in transit agency buses. The system developed by Q’Straint enables passengers to secure their wheelchairs without the assistance of the bus driver.

The money comes from a $ 600,000 grant MDOT received from the Federal Transit Administration to distribute to five transit agencies in Michigan.

Although the exact amount of money Marq-Tran will receive is unknown, MDOT communications officer Daniel Weingarten believes that installing the new system on two buses will be enough.

“The way it works is basically that a passenger pulls his wheelchair or scooter against the backrest and activates this automatic locking system,” explains Weingarten. “These arms come up and ensure the safety of the wheelchair. When the vehicle reaches the destination, the driver can release the passenger using the controls on the dashboard. “

The five agencies that will receive a portion of the grant are: St. Claire County’s Blue Water Area Transportation Commission, Saginaw Transit Authority, Jackson Area Transpiration Authority, Marq-tran, and Western Washtenaw Area Value Express.

Copyright 2021 WLUC. All rights reserved.

FDA approves new machine worn throughout the day to scale back loud night breathing and sleep apnea

Number of Franchises: 22 (not yet licensed in the US) Fee: n / a Year: 2011 New Zealand native Grant Stephen said on trying the SnorePro sleep aid, “I loved it so much I bought the company . “SnorePro has been available in New Zealand for 25 years. Stephen, who has owned the company for about a year, is now selling the concept worldwide. SnorePro is a bespoke oral device that prevents snoring by positioning a person’s jaw so that their airways become less narrow

Photo: Image source | Getty Images

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved a new device that can help prevent sleep apnea and snoring – and that doesn’t have to be worn at night.

People who snore – and their partners – have very few options in the market right now to alleviate their suffering. And a lot of what is available involves uncomfortable mouthguards or noisy C-Pap machines.

Approved on Friday, the eXciteOSA device is the first of its kind to be approved to treat sleep apnea and snoring by improving tongue muscle function by electrically stimulating the tongue through a mouthpiece worn for 20 minutes a day. It helps retrain the tongue to prevent it from collapsing backwards and blocking airflow while you sleep.

Obstructive sleep apnea is widespread and occurs when the upper airway becomes repeatedly blocked during sleep, reducing or completely blocking airflow. If left untreated, OSA can lead to serious complications such as glaucoma, heart attack, diabetes, cancer, and cognitive and behavioral disorders.

“Obstructive sleep apnea not only affects the quality of sleep, it can also have other serious health effects if left untreated. Today’s approval provides a new option for thousands of people with snoring or mild sleep apnea,” said Dr. Malvina Eydelman, director of the Ophthalmic, Anesthetic, Respiratory, ENT, and Dental Devices Bureau at the FDA’s Center for Equipment and Radiological Health.

The eXciteOSA mouthpiece has four electrodes, two above the tongue and two under the tongue. It provides electrical muscle stimulation in sessions that consist of a series of electrical impulses with periods of rest in between. It is used once a day for 20 minutes while you are awake, for 6 weeks, and then once a week thereafter.

The agency said the device reduced loud snoring by more than 20% in 87 of the 115 patients studied. Of the patients who all snored, 48 also had mild sleep apnea.

The most common side effects observed were excessive salivation, tongue or tooth discomfort, tongue tingling, tenderness to filling, metallic taste, gagging, and tight jaw.

The FDA has granted Signifier Medical Technologies marketing authorization.

Correction: This article was updated to reflect that one device reduced loud snoring by more than 20% in 87 out of 115 FDA-evaluated patients. The percentage was incorrectly stated in an earlier version of this article.