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Maragos: Retirement Incentives Save County over $28M

February 24, 2011

Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos released a review of termination pay for County employees who chose one of the retirement incentives offered to public employees of Nassau County in 2010. The early retirement incentive plan offered by the County Executive resulted in the retirement of many of the highest paid county employees and will save the County approximately $28 million over 10 years. The bulk of the savings, about $17 million, will be realized during 2011.

"The early retirement incentives offered last year to our workforce reduced the employee headcount to the lowest levels in decades," Comptroller George Maragos said.

The Comptroller’s review provides a break down of how the termination pay was distributed. The most notable findings were:

  • 64% of the 446 retirees will be receiving payouts of less than $100,000;
  • The median severance package for the members of the three Police Unions was $337,949; and
  • $31.7 million or fifty five percent (55%) of the total payout of $57.5 million was for redemption of sick time and accrued vacation time.

Comptroller George Maragos stressed that, “County employees earned their benefits fairly through labor negotiations. But the amount of accrued sick time and vacation time is an issue that needs to be reformed going forward.”

"Despite saving $28 million over ten years, the County simply cannot afford to continue paying hundreds of thousands of dollars per person in termination pay," Comptroller Maragos added. "Our current employee benefits system should be brought into closer alignment with that of the private industry."

pdf file Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program: Report of Severance Packages and Program Savings