Jackson County Times

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

School Board to Vote on Early Retirement Incentive Plan

Includes 25% of annual salary in lump payment upon retirement, plus paid health insurance for three years.

By Sid Riley

On February 12 the Jackson County School Board published the following legal notice:

“Proposed Policy Adoption- Special retirement incentive- Approval of proposed policy adoption will offer a special retirement incentive to eligible employees on the instructional and administrative salary schedules. Cost to agency will vary according to gross annual salary and cost of health insurance. Cost of benefit to those affected will vary according to gross annual salary and cost of health insurance.”

Current DROP participants that have a DROP exit date prior to or on June 30, 2011 would be ineligible to receive the proposed Jackson County School District special retirement incentive.  Employees who have been re-employed after retiring from the Florida Retirement System or who have previously exited the DROP would also be ineligible. Qualified employees must make their election to participate in this plan by May 31, 2010. This is a one time opportunity, not an ongoing benefit for this group of employees.

Early retirement incentives are a commonly used practice in the industrial sector. When companies realize a future decline in staffing requirements is approaching, they often avoid the trauma of lay-offs and terminations by enticing those employees nearing retirement age to take an early retirement incentive. This approach is being taken by the Board because of forecasted future reductions in revenues. Once the stimulus funds which supplemented operation within the state educational systems this year have been expended, staff reductions may become a reality.

By enticing a senior employee to take advantage of the retirement incentive by taking an early retirement, the job of some young teacher or administrator at the bottom of the pecking order will be saved.

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