It was an unusual rush of meetings that took place on Tuesday afternoon at City Hall, 201 Vigo St., a special county council meeting followed by a joint meeting between the county commissioners and the Knox County Sheriff's Merit Board, and then concluding with the regular meeting of the commissioners.
For all that, the business was all wrapped up in about an hour, even with all the pleasantries.
The first two meetings dealt with a change in the management of the pension and benefit plans for the sheriff's department.
German American Bank is in the process of taking over both from Old National Wealth Management, a division of Evansville-based Old National Bank.
Jody Giles, a senior vice president with the Jasper-based bank who is in charge of retirement services, said she would be meeting with representatives from Old National this morning to facilitate the transfer.
Sheriff Doug Vantlin said currently 24 deputies and a dozen retirees and their families currently take part in the plans. Jailers don't, as Vantlin said they are covered by the state's Public Employee Retirement Fund.
He said the switch in trustees was unanimously approved by the staff.
The merit board had also unanimously approved the move.
The switch will save the county some $48,000 a year in fees, a savings that council president Bob Lechner called “significant.”
“That's a 2-percent per year increase in the value of the plan, year after year,” he said. “We're going to see that just by switching (to German American).”
Giles assured the local officials that German American appreciated the county's business.
“This is a big deal for our bank,” she said. “And all our employees understand this is a big deal.”
Giles agreed to again meet with deputies to further explain the benefits German American offered. She said given the future demographic changes coming the department's way it was important to carefully look over how the pension fund was being invested.
She said Knox County is no different from other surrounding counties in that soon enough there would be retirements of Baby Boomers whose positions would be filled with those making less money.
“Performance does matter,” Giles said of investments. “You're going to have people retiring who are at the higher end of the pay scale and they'll be replaced by deputies who, at first, will be making less, so the contributions to the fund will be less.
“So we'll need to be looking at managing your investments to provide a better return to make up that difference,” she said. “You're not unique, it's something that's happening all over.”