- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 10, 2016

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender is proposing a retirement buyout program for long-term city employees that he says could potentially save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Full-time employees with at least 20 years of city experience who are eligible under the South Dakota Retirement System would receive three months of bonus pay in exchange for retiring by the end of the year.

Out of the 788 people employed by the city, 92 would be eligible under the proposal, the Rapid City Journal reported (https://bit.ly/2aLgVmD ). The City Council is to vote on the proposal Monday.

“With nearly one out of eight employees eligible for retirement, the possible savings are spectacular,” Allender told the newspaper.

Employees at the top end of the city’s pay scale are making a significantly higher wage than they would in other places, according to the mayor.

“Frankly, and on strictly a cost/benefit analysis, the city is paying too much for the services of some of our employees,” Allender said in a letter to council members.

Allender told the Journal that his idea is a one-time, voluntary program and that he doesn’t want it to be perceived as chasing out a certain age group of employees. However, the city’s “generous pay scale” and its number of retirement-eligible employees who are still working creates an “unbelievably high financial output,” he said.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, https://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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