March 19, 2009
ISU gets OK to proceed with early retirement option
by Erin Rosacker
Iowa State will move forward with its proposed early retirement incentive program, after getting approval from the state Board of Regents at its March 19 meeting in Iowa City.
President Gregory Geoffroy introduced ISU's plan as an immediate cost-saving budget measure for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Under the program approved by the Regents, participants must apply for retirement by June 30, 2009, and fully retire by Jan. 31, 2010.
Full-time employees, age 60 years and older who have been on staff for a minimum of 10 (consecutive) years, would be eligible to participate in the program, and Geoffroy said an estimated 550 Iowa State employees meet those requirements. Warren Madden, vice president for business and finance, said merit employees also can participate if they meet the eligibility requirements.
Under the program, ISU would continue to cover the normal employee and employer costs of health and dental insurance coverage for five years, or until the individual is eligible for Medicare (age 65). Once the employee is Medicare-eligible, ISU would continue benefit payments at the retiree rate.
"We believe we have a number of faculty and staff on our campus who will take advantage of an early retirement incentive program," Geoffroy said. "That program will create vacant positions and budget savings which will help units meet their current budget challenges."
A similar program also was developed for 110 ISU Extension employees who participate in federal retirement programs. Differences include the minimum age (50 years) and years of service (20 years) requirements for eligibility. Approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Federal Office of Personnel Management would be needed to implement the program.
Iowa State will move forward with its proposed early retirement program, as part of a cost-saving measure.