JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - On Sunday, Singing River Health System announced it was postponing town hall meetings to discuss it's pension plan with retirees and former employees due to pending legal action. Meetings were planned for December 9 and 11 for retirees, with another meeting on December 16 for former employees.
In the release, Director of Communications for Singing River Health System, Richard Lucas said, "We regret having to postpone these meetings, as the previous six sessions we held for active employees last week were helpful in getting needed answers and information out. However, as a result of the pending legal proceedings, we have been advised to wait until that is sorted out. We hope to resume the town halls as soon as possible so we can meet with our retirees and other former employees to get their questions answered."
The hospital system has already hosted several of these meeting with current employees to discuss the liquidation of it's underfunded pension plan. Last month system officials said the retirement pension was in danger of going into default, with assets of about $130 million and liabilities of about $280 million. Last week, those officials said the retirement fund was being frozen and will soon be liquidated.
The pending legal action mentioned in the release is an injunction issued by a Jackson County Chancery Court Judge that prevents Singing River from terminating the pension plan until the issue could be looked at in a hearing. The temporary restraining order was issued at the request of Cynthia Almond, a former SRHS employee. A hearing on that injunction will be held Monday, December 8 at 9 am at the George County Courthouse.
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