TJC spokesman Fred Peters said full-time employees have been at somewhat of a disadvantage because they didn't have a Social Security fund to rely on.
“This will be a replacement for that, an additional benefit for full-time employees and will begin in January if the board approves it,” he said.
If approved, the college will submit 2 percent of the full-time employee's salary into a retirement account. This portion would not be deducted from the employee's salary, but awarded in addition to it.
Employees have the option of requesting an additional 2 percent be deducted from each payroll and invested into the account. So an employee could have up to 4 percent of their salary put in their account.
Sarah Van Cleef, the college's vice president for business affairs and chief financial officer, said college administrators have been considering Social Security or alternatives for several years.
She said TJC President Dr. Mike Metke wanted to fix the situation so employees would have a safety net.
She said it would cost more than $3 million to get back into Social Security, something officials decided was not a good option.
The college budgeted $660,000 for the proposed additional retirement plan. That would pay for a partial year, eight months of the 2013 fiscal year. It's a partial year because it would start in January.
She said that would be the maximum amount the college would spend if all 600-plus full-time employees took advantage of the full 4 percent investment in the retirement plan.
If all employees opted for the 2 percent only, it would cut the price tag roughly in half for the partial year.
“We're (really) excited,” Ms. Van Cleef said. “We feel like it will be a huge benefit to the employees.”
The retirement account will be a 401A, Ms. Van Cleef said. The college went through the request for proposal process and will announce the selected company today.
Each employee could then opt to have 2 percent deducted from each payroll — for a maximum of 6 percent invested.
If all full-time employees chose the full amount – 6 percent – it would cost the college $1.4 million for a full fiscal year, Ms. Van Cleef said.
If all employees opted for the 4 percent only, it would cost the college about $1 million, she said.
DeVonne Cagle, TJC's manager of benefits and compensation, said if approved, this will be better for the employees.
“It's a way to help employees prepare for their future, especially because we don't have Social Security as a safety net,” she said.
She said the college previously had Social Security for employees, but opted out in 1976. The college had a supplement to the other retirement plans for a while but stopped that and rolled those funds into salaries, she said.
“Now, Dr. Metke just feels very strong that we need to have something because we won't be getting back into Social Security,” she said.
TJC's full-time employees are in either the state's Teacher Retirement System or the Optional Retirement System, the latter of which is only for faculty and certain administrative staff.
The board will meet at 11 a.m. in White Administrative Services Center Board Room on the TJC main campus. A 10 a.m. workshop will be held in the Board Conference Room. Both meetings are open to the public.