BOSTON Mass. (WWLP) – Qualified state employees who want to take advantage of an early retirement program began sending in their applications Monday. As many as 5000 state employees will get a pension bump in exchange for leaving the state payroll.
The State Retirement Board began accepting applications on Monday. The program is not on a first come, first serve basis – it’s based on seniority.
Qualified state employees can retire early with higher pensions by adding five years to their age or service. The state is expected to realize more than $170-million dollars in savings by re-hiring a small portion of positions. Almost 14-thousand state employees qualify for early retirement.
Chicopee State Representative Joe Wagner told 22 News, he believes all five-thousand spots will be filled. “I’ve heard a lot of talk. I think we will hit that level; I think there’s going to be a pretty good move toward it early on.”
Layoffs could soon be underway for more than two-hundred executive branch employees whose positions were not funded under the Governor’s budget plan.
State employees have one month to send in applications. The program is expected to go into effect by the end of June.