State News

Retirement incentive attracts 272 state employees

By Elizabeth Hewitt,

Some 272 state employees are on track to retire under an incentive program designed to reduce the state’s labor costs, Treasurer Beth Pearce told lawmakers Tuesday, Sept. 15.

As part of the budget for fiscal year 2016, the Legislature approved a retirement incentive for up to 300 employees. Under the plan, departments would fill only a quarter of the positions. The proposal is expected to save the state approximately $2.5 million in labor costs in the current budget.

According to a tally by the treasurer’s office through Monday, the largest number of retirees will come from Agency of Transportation, with 50 people planning to take the incentive. The Department for Children and Families will lose the second-largest number of people, with 27 on track to retire.

Outgoing Finance and Management Commissioner Jim Reardon said the Agency of Administration will go through the list “position by position” to evaluate how state government functions will be impacted if a job is not filled.

If all 272 employees go through with retirement, 25 percent of the total, or 68 positions, will be refilled, Reardon said. The Shumlin administration will be strategic about filling the positions, he said.

It will not be clear whether the state will meet the savings target of $2.5 million until after the list of retirees is finalized in early October, Reardon said.

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