Early retirements will help Merced College

By Yesenia Amaro / yamaro@mercedsun-star.comMarch 22, 2013 

Merced College will see about $1.1 million in savings as a result of 27 employees departing under an early retirement program, President Ron Taylor said Monday.

The savings will come from not filling some of the positions and from lower salaries likely to be paid to those hired to fill other positions, Taylor said.

"It's not as good as we would have liked," he said. "We were aiming at 31 or 33. Maybe just a little higher."

However, he said, 27 employees is not bad.

The Supplemental Employee Retirement Plan was introduced in the fall as a way to help the college deal with its budget challenges. Eligible employees were able to apply from late November 2012 to Jan. 15.

The program offered an incentive to employees to encourage them to retire earlier than anticipated.

Eleven classified employees, 14 faculty and two managers took advantage of the program, Taylor said. Of the 11 classified employees, eight will be replaced and three positions will be deferred.

The two managers will be replaced with interim administrators, Taylor said, and nine of the 14 faculty will be replaced.

Hiring of some replacements won't happen right away, he said.

To be eligible for the program, employees had to be 55 or older and have worked at the college for five years or more, Taylor said. Employees had to be at least 55 because it qualifies them for regular retirement benefits under the state retirement system.

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