Schenectady County passes retirement incentive

Project savings estimated to be $7.1 million if all positions opt in

The Schenectady County Legislature passed Part A of the 2010 Retirement Incentive offered by the state during a special meeting on Thursday, Aug. 26. A total of 32 positions are targeted by the county to receive the incentive.

If we can achieve savings through earlier retirement incentives, then we want to do it, said Chairwoman of the Schenectady County Legislature Susan Savage, D-Niskayuna. "In the state of New York, there are many, many, many people who are taking this incentive."

Part A provides the county a targeted retirement incentive where they can choose what employees will be selected. In order to be eligible for the incentive, the employee must be 50 years old with at least 10 years of service, or 55 years old with at least 5 years of service. The positions are determined based on seniority, and the county would have to reach a minimum savings of 50 percent in two years by eliminating the positions.

Eligible employees are given one additional month of service credit for each year of employment, but the total amount of additional service credited can't exceed three years.

"Because we are specifically targeting specific positions, we know what the project savings would be," said Joe McQueen, spokesman for the county. "For us, the county, we went for this targeted because they are positions we can completely eliminate, or compile in part with other positions and part-time positions."

McQueen said the county is probably nearing the minimum amount of positions to operate effectively if all the targeted county employees take the incentive.

"We are pretty lean here," said McQueen. "A lot of positions we have here are mandated. We are getting down to the bare bones as well.

Savage said the county has been actively trying to reduce spending by cutting jobs.

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