Our own Jim Reeves was interviewed by the Sun Herald Newspaper about Singing River Health System’s pension problems and employees’ legal options. We, like many folks along the Coast, have close family and friends who are being affected by this issue. With so much at stake, we’re working to defend the rights of many hurt by SRHS’s actions.
Quote from Sun Herald article:
“I don’t think it can be interpreted any other way but to lead them to believe that they in fact were getting the retirement benefits that they were promised,” Reeves said.
Scroll down to read excerpts from the story. Also, check out our recent blog posts regarding this retirement program.
Singing River Told Employees Pension Funded When It Wasn’t
By KAREN NELSON and ANITA LEE
Sun Herald November 19, 2014
PASCAGOULA — Singing River Health System sent statements in 2009, 2010 and 2011 to each employee showing how much the system paid
into their individual retirement, with colorful pie charts that showed millions invested overall in the pension plan.
SRHS employees are waiting to learn what they can expect in retirement pay now that the health system has conceded the plan is only 48 percent funded,
with a shortfall of roughly $150 million.
Biloxi attorney Jim Reeves sat in his conference room recently with one of the statements a client brought him.
“I don’t think it can be interpreted any other way but to lead them to believe that they in fact were getting the retirement benefits that they were
promised,” Reeves said. “This makes the situation doubly tragic because we have people who — if they were told this thing was in trouble in ’09 or ’10 when it got in trouble — could have made different arrangements. Many of them stayed at the hospital because of the good retirement plan. Those are years and potential investment monies that are gone and you can’t get back.”
The Sun Herald asked health system CEO Kevin Holland on Thursday to explain the statements that claim SRHS was contributing to retirement during those years. The written response came Monday:
“Prior to current administration, these reports were produced annually for our employees for the purpose of communicating information on our total benefits package at SRHS. No one on our current leadership team had any involvement in producing these statements; therefore, we cannot speculate on the information reported.”
Through a spokesman, Holland said he had no direct responsibility over the retirement fund until he stepped into the CEO’s job in early March, but Holland worked on the senior management team from 2009 through February as chief operating officer over both Ocean Springs and Singing River hospitals.
Anderson wrote and signed a letter that accompanied the annual statements to each employee. The 2009 and 2010 letters included the sentence, “It is also important to note that significant investments continue to be made in our retirement plan to ensure a well-funded and stable plan is maintained through challenging economic times.”
The full article can be found here: http://www.sunherald.com/2014/11/19/5924100/singing-river-told-employees-pension.html