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Essex County moves toward early retirements

August 4, 2010
By NATHAN BROWN, Enterprise Staff Writer

ELIZABETHTOWN - Thirty-three Essex County employees - about a third of those who were eligible - have said they are interested in taking part in a state-offered early-retirement plan.

Many of these positions will be eliminated, said county Manager Dan Palmer. He estimates savings over the next two years would be about $100,000, since the county will have to pay retirement and health insurance costs, but Palmer said the savings would grow in subsequent years, since those positions that are filled would be filled with more junior people whose base salaries, and thus percentage raises, won't be as high as those of the retirees they replace.

Palmer said he had to consult with the county's department heads before knowing which positions would be eliminated but would know before Aug. 16, which is when the county will hold the two separate public hearings needed to pass local laws to take part in the state's Part A and Part B early-retirement plans.

The county would save $1.9 million in salaries over two years but would have to pay $1.2 million in retiree health insurance plus about $514,000 in retirement incentive costs.

The 33 people who have said they want to retire don't have to. They have 90 days from when the incentives would take effect - Aug. 31 for Part A and Sept. 1 for Part B - to decide whether to take part.

The majority of those who want to retire fall under Part A, which would allow employees 50 or older with at least 10 years of service to retire and get an extra month's credit for every year they have worked for the county. Part B would allow employees 55 and older with 25 years of service or more to retire with full benefits, or a pension of 80 percent of their final average salary, instead of with 30 years of services as usually required.

The Part A hearing will be at 9 a.m. on Aug. 16, Part B at 9:15, both in the supervisors' chambers in the Old County Court House in Elizabethtown. The board will hold a special meeting at noon that day where it could pass the local laws.


Contact Nathan Brown at 891-2600 ext. 26 or



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