Expedited retirement could save Troy thousands

Published 10:03 pm Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The City of Troy is considering an ordinance that could save the city thousands of dollars and offer a handful of employees an incentive to retire early.

The council held the first reading of the ordinance last week at its regular meeting after discussing the option during the work sessions of the prior two meetings.

The ordinance would allow unclassified employees with 25 years or more of service under the Retirement Systems of Alabama retirement plan to take an early retirement and keep their city health insurance paid for, as well as remaining employed with the city in another capacity with a salary of under $31,000.

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“… the City Council finds that since in general employees in the unclassified service of the City receive higher salaries and benefits greater than other employees, offering an expedited retirement program for unclassified employees will save the City thousands of dollars in salaries and benefits which in turn will benefit the City and the public …” the ordinance reads.

The council has discussed the possibility of giving classified employees who have served as long the opportunity for expedited retirement as well, which Mayor Jason Reeves said would be more complicated due to the higher number of classified employees in the city, but he suggested that it could be considered in the future if the council decides to explore that option.

Reeves said there are six people that meet the criteria for the offer. If the ordinance is passed, the employees will be given until March 29 to give notice of their retirement.

The ordinance outlines the incentives for the employees while also providing the caveat that the agreement will be negotiated with the mayor.

“… the employee may be entitled to receive: (i) payment for annual leave which has accrued pursuant to the city’s policies; and/or (ii) sick leave which has accrued under applicable City policies; and/or (iii) entitlement to such other payment or concessions which in the determination of the Mayor will save the City money,” the ordinance states.

“The Mayor is authorized to negotiate with the eligible employee and establish by agreement with the eligible employee any payment/compensation method …”

Unclassified employees include positions appointed by the mayor or council, which include the clerk, police chief, fire chief and department heads.

The council will have a second reading of the ordinance at its next regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at Troy City Hall.

The executive committee will meet upstairs at 4 p.m. and the council will convene in the City Council Chambers at 5 p.m.