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WCS offers early retirement

WARRENSBURG - A program that boosts incentives for particular teachers to retire early was approved July 12 by the Warrensburg School District Board of Education.

The board approved offering one of two retirement incentive programs approved earlier this year by the state as a potential cost-saving measure. The board decided to offer the state's "Part A" program which allows the school district to offer the incentive to particular unionized employees who are at least 50 years old and have 10 years of service or more. The program is for both faculty members and non-teaching positions.

The school board has targeted six teaching positions and five non-instructional positions, and two employees so far have accepted the offer, according to Warrensburg Central School District manager Cindy Turcotte.

If all employees in the targeted positions take up the offer, savings to taxpayers is expected to be about $150,000, after factoring the cost of replacement employees hired at a lower cost. Turcotte said three of the positions targeted would not call for hiring replacements.

According to Turcotte, the savings is expected to increase over time, because the state charges the district to offset a portion of the additional retirement costs.

The incentive is granting an early retiree one month's additional service credit for each year worked, up to a maximum of three years. Such credits boosts a retiree's pay, depending on their longevity and pay level.

The employees must accept the offer by Aug. 10 and then retire by Aug. 31 to receive the additional service credit. Those who accept the offer give up the local incentive, which is getting paid for up to 200 accumulated sick days.

The board decided not to enact the "Part B" retirement incentive, which was the second option of a state retirement offering municipalities and school districts could extend to their employees who were 55 and older with 25 years of service. This plan, according to state rules, would have been offered to all employees.

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