Cumberland Valley District Health Department not making retirement payments

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HARLAN, Ky. (WYMT) - Money for the employees' retirement fund at the Cumberland Valley District Health Department has not been paid in two months.
A spokesperson for the Attorney General's office confirms they have received at least one complaint.

Harlan County Health Department employees, who would not talk on camera, say money is coming out of their paychecks for retirement, but the money is not going into their retirement fund.

"So the health district has apparently not paid up the retirement plans. I don't know exactly what this means," said Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop.

The Harlan County Health Department is part of the Cumberland Valley District Health Department. The Interim Director, Lynnett Renner, says the district faced a two million dollar budget deficit at the end of the last fiscal year. Renner says the deficit is due to state and federal funding cutbacks and Managed Care Organizations not making their payments. She says the district cannot afford the 25 percent matching payments to the Kentucky Retirement System, so no money has been paid in two months.

"We've been told by Retirement they will not accept partial payments. Those funds are being held and will be paid as soon as we get the match that goes with it," said Renner.

The Attorney General's office says it has received complaints about the Cumberland Valley District Health Department but could confirm or deny if there is a criminal investigation.

"I hope this will get rectified rather quickly because employees have an expectation as a fringe benefit that they should receive when they retire from service," said Grieshop, who is on the Cumberland Valley District Health Department Board.

"We are very concerned with the retirement and want to make sure that all employees benefits are paid and it's going to be resolved," said Renner.

She hopes to resume payments in March.

The Kentucky Retirement Systems Board in Frankfort was closed for bad weather on Friday, so we were unable to talk to them about the situation.

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