Seven employees take city's early retirement offer

2012-09-08T11:18:00Z Seven employees take city's early retirement offerJoyce Russell, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222

PORTAGE | Seven city employees have agreed to take the city's early retirement buyout offer.

Human resources consultant Mitch Ripley told the city council this week that 11 people were offered the buyouts. Six have signed the paperwork and a seventh has also agreed to early retirement, Ripley said.

The cost to the city of the early retirement buyouts is $758,000 and will be funded through the city's Redevelopment Commission.

Ripley told the council that the seven early retirements will create a three-year guaranteed savings of $2.8 million to the city, with a potential savings of up to $5.1 million. The savings are based on salaries and medical benefits paid out by the city.

Employees age 60 and older were offered the buyouts consisting of three month's salary and health insurance lump sum payments of $16,800 per year for each year until they reach the age at which they can receive Medicare.

Ripley said of the employees taking the offer, three work in the parks department, two in the street department, one in the police department and one in the clerk-treasurer's office.

These early retirements are in addition to three retirements from the city's Utility Services Department earlier this summer.

Mayor James Snyder said he was pleased with the results of the early retirement offers, adding that possibly only one of those people will have to be replaced.

When the retirement incentive is completed, Snyder said, the city will have 17 fewer employees than when he took office.

"Every department head has worked diligently to reposition employees," Snyder said.

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