The Cambria County Retirement Board is made up of the three County Commissioners, the County Controller and the County Treasurer. One of the three Commissioners is appointed the Board Chairman and the Controller is the Retirement Board secretary.
The current Retirement Board members are:
Thomas C. Chernisky, President Commissioner
William "B.J." Smith, County Commissioner
Mark J. Wissinger, County Commissioner
Lisa Kozorosky, County Treasurer
Ed Cernic, Jr., Retirement Board Secretary & County Controller
In Spring 2014, the Controller's Office held 5 informational retirement presentations at 4 different County locations to assist Employees better understand their retirement plan and their options. We had 187 Employees participate in the sessions. A BIG THANK YOU goes to Dana Descavish for all her hard work in putting together all the information and presenting it to the Employees. A copy of the presentation materials may be found below in the file named Retirement Presentation 2014.
"RETIRE FROM WORK, BUT NOT FROM LIFE"
FAQs on Pension and Retirement Benefits
- How much may I contribute to my pension account?
- All full-time employees are mandated into the County's Retirement System and must contribute 9% of their gross wages on a pre-tax basis. You may also voluntarily elect to contribute up to an additional 10% on an after-tax basis for a total contribution of 19%. To elect this voluntary contribution, the form is located in the forms below or you may contact the Human Resources Department. The form must be submitted by mid-December to the Human Resources office. Increasing or decreasing your percentage amount may only be done once a year and will start at the beginning of the calendar year.
- When am I vested in my pension?
- After 5 years of full-time employment, you are vested. If you leave County employment, you have the right to receive a deferred normal pension called a vested pension upon reaching superannuation age of 60. The accumulated deductions will continue to earn interest during the vested period. If you die before becoming eligible to start your pension, the full amount of your accumulated deductions including interest to the date of death will be paid to your estate or designated beneficiary.
- When may I start collecting on my pension?
- When you reach 60 years of age or older regardless of years of full-time credited service, you may start collecting a superannuation pension upon leaving full-time employment. You may also collect a superannuation pension by reaching 55 years of age with 20 years of credited full-time service at the time you leave full-time service. You may draw a reduced pension or early retirement pension with 20 years of service under age 55 years of age when you leave full-time employment. If you leave prior to meeting the 20 years of service or age 60, you may vest your pension until age 60 (see FAQ above).
- What interest rate is used to credit interest to my pension account balance?
- Since 2007, Cambria County has paid 4.75% interest on prior year total contributions. Current year contributions are credited with 1/2 interest or 2.375% interest since contributions are made throughout the calendar year via payroll deduction.
- Am I entitled to any type of post employment benefits other than my pension?
- Depending on when you were hired into full-time service, you may be entitled to receive retiree health care benefits and/or life insurance benefits at retirement. You should refer to the Employee Handbook to determine the "hire before" dates and number of years of full-time service required to qualify for such benefits. You may also contact Dana Descavish, 2nd Deputy Controller & Retirement Benefits Manager to assist you in determining what benefits for which you qualify. She may be reached at (814) 472-1620 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
- What type of pension plan do we have?
- The Pension Plan is a Defined Benefit Plan. A defined benefit plan is where the employer guarantees to pay the employee at retirement a fixed monthly income for life.
- What happens to my pension account if I die while still employed full-time?
- If you should die while still employed full-time either after age 60 or after ten years of credited service, a lump sum benefit will be paid to your designated beneficiaries. The benefit will include your member contributions, interest and county contributions. If you die before age 60 and have less than ten years of credited service, a lump sum benefit will be paid to your designated beneficiaries. The benefit will include both your member contributions and interest.
- How do I designate a beneficiary to my pension account?
- Upon being hired as a full-time employee, you will complete a Member Beneficiary designation form for the pension system. You are able to change this form at any time by contacting the Human Resources office at (814) 472-1610. It is very important to keep your Member Beneficiary form updated as changes occur in your life (e.g. marriage, divorce, having kids, etc.) We must payout to the designated primary or contingent beneficiary listed on the form regardless of the current relationship with the decedent.
- Who do I contact with any questions on my retirement plan or retirement benefits?
- All questions on the retirement system should be directed to the 2nd Deputy Controller & Retirement Benefits Manager, Dana Descavish at (814) 472-1620. She can answer any questions you may have on how the plan works or what you will be entitled to upon your retirement. You should contact her at least 2 months before your retirement date to obtain an updated retirement quote.