Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Some retirees take state buyout offer

Fifty-one employees in the state departments of agriculture and insurance have retired under a new state Civil Service layoff avoidance policy aimed at encouraging people to retire to shrink employee ranks.

The policy allows agencies to offer retirement-eligible employees a one-time, lump-sum payment that cannot exceed 50 percent of the savings realized by the agency in the fiscal year the employee retires.

Agriculture and Insurance are the only major departments in state government so far participating.

But the LSU Agricultural Center recently got the go-ahead for a limited retirement program offering, Civil Service director Shannon Templet said Tuesday.

Agricultural Center officials want to cap the program at the first 50 applicants, and then look at the cost savings and the feasibility of extending it further, Templet said.

She said she expects more requests to come in, “but the later in the year you do it, the savings are not as much.”

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