- Associated Press - Saturday, May 9, 2015

BOSTON (AP) - State employees hoping to take advantage of a recently-approved early retirement program can soon begin signing-up.

Gov. Charlie Baker recently signed the law that offers incentives to thousands of executive branch workers to retire by June 30. The program aims to save $172 million in personnel costs in the next fiscal year.

Eligible workers can begin submitting applications for early retirement to the state retirement board on Monday. The deadline for applying is June 12. Up to 5,000 applications will be accepted.

Some critics of the program have warned that a sudden wave of departures of highly-experienced personnel could devastate key state agencies.

Under the law, the Baker administration can replace up to 20 percent of the total salaries of the workers who choose to retire.

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