House Passes Early Retirement Incentive Program; Will Achieve Cost Savings for FY16 Budget

(BOSTON) – Representative Benson (D-Lunenburg) joined her colleagues in the House of Representatives this week to pass legislation that creates an early retirement incentive program (ERIP) for Group 1 employees in the Office of Governor and Executive Branch.

The program was originally proposed as part of Governor Baker’s FY16 budget and was taken up separately so that associated savings can be included in the House’s budget, which will be released next month.

“On Wednesday, I joined my colleagues in the House in passing an early retirement incentive program (ERIP), which will provide significant savings in the FY16 budget,” said Representative Benson. “This legislation includes important protections, such as setting a cap on backfilling positions, that will help ensure anticipated savings are realized.  By taking up this bill ahead of the House budget debate, we will be able to use the projected savings from this program towards essential line items.”

The program is anticipated to achieve $172.9 million in net savings. The legislation contains numerous provisions that will help ensure the projected savings are realized including a cap on backfilling positions. Spending for backfilled positions is limited to 20 percent of the annualized compensation that would have been paid out over the next two fiscal years for that role. Eligible employees must apply for ERIP no later than July 15, 2015 with an official retirement date of July 31, 2015.

The bill now moves to the Senate for its consideration.