Shawnee City Commissioners voted to amend the city employee benefit plan to include an early retirement option.

Shawnee City Commissioners voted to amend the city employee benefit plan to include an early retirement option.

Interim City Manager Eric Benson said he is presenting the incentivized retirement plan to eligible city employees today.

He said he will follow that with one-on-one financial planning meetings with the Oklahoma Municipal Retirement Fund (OKMRF).

“Simply put, this is an incentivized retirement plan as we examine revenues of the community and as it applies to the city budget versus the personnel cost to the city,” he said. “This is an opportunity to empower those who eligible to retire with some added incentives and financial benefits to do so.”

Shawnee Treasurer Chance Allison said the plan will allow a voluntary 60-day window for eligible employees to evaluate whether they want to retire.

“We've developed two groups with the defined benefit plan, based on specifics in the city ordinance,” he said.

Groups are made of those who are eligible or near eligible to retire at full or reduced benefits.

“What the incentive would do is — assuming everyone took the incentive — save the city approximately $1.7 million in payroll costs,” Allison said. “That includes fringe benefits, salaries, taxes, etc.”

The longterm impact of the plan would be about $8,000 or $9,000 in a positive fashion because these employees would be retiring sooner than expected, he said.

“Each of those groups would be provided with increased benefits above and beyond what their normal retirement would be today,” he said.