County Commissioners Move Forward with Early Retirement Program

BARNSTABLE – Barnstable County Commissioners voted last week to offer county employees early retirement incentives in an effort to reduce the budget by as much as 1.5 million dollars.

The proposal has been considered previously by county officials who have been working to trim their 29 million dollar operating budget, following recent financial struggles.

Barnstable County Administrator Jack Yunits is presented the plan to commissioners earlier this summer, which would require the cape’s legislative delegation to file a bill that would establish the offer.

The incentive targets county employees who are have at least 15 years of service, be a minimum of 55 years old, and be actively enrolled in the Barnstable County Retirement Association.

As it stands, 35 of the county’s more than 150 employees would meet the criteria of the plan, but it may be capped at only 15 employees.

If there are any supplementary hires to the county, Yunits said that it would be on a part-time basis with no benefits.

“Benefit packages could range between 30-40 percent, so eliminating that responsibility is significant to the county,” Yunits told commissioners.

Yunits says that early projections indicate that the measure would save the county 1.4 million dollars annually over a decade. However, liability costs and part-time hires would surely chip away at that figure, with analysts estimating that the program could cost the county as much as 300 thousand dollars to implement.

County Commissioners Chairman Leo Cakounes says that the plan would need to be implemented correctly “We just can’t accept an early retirement and then go out in the street and hire someone to come in and backfill that position immediately because there will be no savings for the county.”

The offer still requires approval from the state’s Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission.


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