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Hoping to save taxpayers money, Miami offers early retirement... - KOAM TV 7

Hoping to save taxpayers money, Miami offers early retirement plan for city employees

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The Miami city council passes an option for it's workers to retire early so the city can redirect some of the tax money to other city projects.

The move is the latest in a story we brought you back in December about the city of Miami's plan to make budget cut backs and absorb around 50 city jobs.

Nancy Wells has worn many hats in city offices over the past 38 years, starting at the Miami Police Department and ending as Director of Human Resources for the city.  Wells says when she heard about the opportunity to retire early, she jumped at the chance to spend more time with her grand kids.

"I think the city was very generous in their offer and their wanting to protect their employees to make sure that they aren't harmed by this, the ones that choose to take it," says Wells.

The city says it will offer five year service credits to those employees 60 and above, but those who fall under what the Miami's city manager calls the Rule of 80 can also apply.

"That's where your age plus years of service equal more than 80, those employees that meet that criteria will be offered the opportunity to retire now rather than later without any penalty to retire today," says Miami City Manager Jeff Bishop.

City employees will only have from March 15 to April 15 to cash in on the deal.  The city hopes the window time frame will help encourage more retirements in order to make room in the budget for other necessities.

"We have a very labor intensive budget and in order for us to free up more money for capital improvements, we had to free up budget capacity," says Bishop.

Wells says not everyone is sure about the new plan.

"It's mixed, they don't fully understand it," Wells says.

But Wells says representatives from the Oklahoma Municipal Retirement Fund will come to town next week to further explain the early retirement plan to employees.

In addition to the early retirement window the City of Miami says the council also voted to switch the city owned pension program to a larger pension fund to also cut costs.

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