Knowledgebase-Early Retirement Incentives Survey


Information Product

Title:Early Retirement Incentives Survey
Summary:Several cities, housing authorities, and an airport authority were asked about their early retirement incentive programs.
Original Author:Stokes, Richard
Co-Author:
Product Create Date:01/30/2014
Last Reviewed on::01/03/2017
Subject:Personnel--Retirement; Personnel--Retirement--Tennessee; Personnel--Incentives
Type:Survey
Original Document: Survey Results - Early Retirement Incentives 2014.pdfSurvey Results - Early Retirement Incentives 2014.pdf

Reference Documents:

Text of Document: Early Retirement Incentives Survey Results (revised 1/30/2014)

1. Is your organization a member of the TN Consolidate Retirement System (TCRS)?

City Yes/No
Bristol Yes
Memphis (MDHA) Yes
Bartlett No
Columbia No
Farragut No
Metro Knoxville Airport Authority No
Springfield Yes
Sevierville Yes
Athens No
Franklin No
Alcoa Yes
Oak Ridge Yes
MDHA (Nashville) No
Jackson Yes
Centerville Yes
Lexington No
Elizabethton Yes


2. Do you have a formal early retirement incentive program in place?

City Yes/No
Bristol No
Memphis (MDHA) No
Bartlett No
Columbia No
Farragut No
Metro Knoxville Airport Authority No
Springfield No
Sevierville No
Athens No
Franklin No
Alcoa No
Oak Ridge No
MDHA (Nashville) No
Jackson No
Centerville No
Lexington No
Elizabethton No


3. Does your organization provide an early retirement option other than what is normally provided under TCRS guidelines?

City Yes/No Description
Bristol No
Memphis (MDHA) No
Bartlett Yes 15 years of service and age 55. Benefit is reduced 50 %.
Farragut No
Metro Knoxville Airport Authority No
Springfield No
Sevierville No
Athens Yes option to retire at age 55 with 25 years of service and an option to retire at 62 with 15 years of service.
Franklin No
Alcoa No
Oak Ridge No
MDHA (Nashville) No
Jackson No
Centerville No
Lexington No
Elizabethton No



4. Has your organization done an Early Retirement incentive program as a one-time only program rather than a set plan?

City Yes/No How was it structured?
Bristol No
Memphis (MDHA) No
Bartlett No
Farragut No
Metro Knoxville Airport Authority No
Springfield No
Sevierville No
Athens No
Franklin Yes The rule of 65.
Alcoa No
Oak Ridge yes The City of Oak Ridge tried an incentive program in FY1996 that was applicable to employees eligible to retire with different monetary amounts for those with 15 to 20 years’ service.
MDHA (Nashville) No not in over 7 years
Jackson Yes We have a Terminal Leave Bank where sick leave hours are credited beyond the 600 hours in the sick leave bank. When an employee retires, they receive payment for 1/2 of the Terminal Leave hours. Employees may use all of the Terminal Leave hours toward service retirement. Example: if an employee has 29 years of service and has 2080 hours in the Terminal Leave Bank, he/she could use this time to effect a 30-year retirement. He/she would not receive any compensation for this time. Presently, we are offering one (1) month’s salary as a retirement incentive. This is in addition to the Terminal Leave payout.
Centerville No
Lexington Yes Too complicated to explain here.
Elizabethton Yes In an employee met the TCRS requirement for Early Retirement, the City offered to pay the Early Retiree's Health Insurance until age 65 or Medicare eligibility (an option that is only available to Full Service Retirees normally) + the city offered a 6 month salary bonus at retirement or purchase of a Medicare Supplement after age 65 for life.




5. How does your organization determine the advantages of early retirement incentives? please describe (i.e. estimate participation, actuarial study, etc):

City Determination of Advantages
Memphis (MDHA) N/A
Bartlett We do not have early retirement incentive.
Metro Knoxville Airport Authority MKAA has not initiated a proposed concept for early retirement
Franklin we no longer offer early retirement
Oak Ridge Based on data at the time, it was believed that there would be significant cost savings - new employee at bottom of pay plan vs, retiring employee near top of pay plan.
Jackson Advantages of the former plan - employees are able to leave service earlier = less of an impact on the salary line; there is no additional expenditure for the City, no lump sum distribution; it is only beneficial for those who are within a couple of years of retirement and have planned for retirement.
Lexington Only reason to use was to reduce workforce, used actuarial study for feasibility



6. What do you perceive to be the advantage/disadvantage for your workforce?

City Advantages/Disadvantages for workforce
Bristol We looked several years ago at a possible early retirement incentive, but we didn't get beyond initial discussions. We may have this discussion again as part of our budget.
Memphis (MDHA) The retirement benefit would not be sufficient income for the employees. Most of the current employees are not close to retirement age and do not have the years of service. It would be a disadvantage for our workforce. they would have to obtain additional employment to supplement the pension income.
Columbia We have several long term employees who would love to be offered early retirement. Since we have our own retirement plan, the board feels it would cost them more. However, the fact that these employees are just putting in their time, waiting till they can retire, has a cost associated with it.
Metro Knoxville Airport Authority We have employees who would take an early retirement if presented an option
Oak Ridge Only two employees took advantage of the program and they had planned to retire any way. Employees did not feel that the monetary incentive was enough to justify retiring.
MDHA (Nashville) None
Jackson The advantage of the latter is just a ‘goodwill’ gesture.
Lexington Don't understand question, advantage should be to management (City)



General Comments:

City General Comments
Columbia Would love to be able to offer some kind of option, can't wait for the results.
Farragut The Town of Farragut recently joined the Social Security system and implemented a matching 401k program. Early retirement is generally not an option for our employees.
Metro Knoxville Airport Authority would appreciate a sample plan (One Time)
Springfield Springfield has not officially tackled the subject of early retirement.
Athens This plan was frozen as of 07/01/2010 and new employees are covered under a 401(a) plan
Oak Ridge Some employees were very upset that their names were on a list of potential retirees when we did the program that one year. They perceived it as a way of getting rid of them in violation of applicable laws on age discrimination.
Lexington City used to reduce workforce and make plan stronger with younger participants.
Elizabethton This Incentive Plan did not prove successful for the City because most of the eligible employees electing the Incentive were Department or Division Heads and those positions could not be frozen or eliminated. For this to have been successful, more staff employee would have elected the retirement incentive.




Contact Information

City # of Employees Contact Person Contact Number
Bristol 337 FT Belva Hale 423.989.5525
Memphis (MDHA) 91 Dale Jackson (901) 544-1316
Bartlett 500 Peter Voss 901.385.6430
Columbia 386 Connie Etzkin 931.560.1565
Farragut 50 Janet Curry 865.966.7957
Metro Knoxville Airport Authority 160 Alan Jones 865.342.3062
Springfield 252 Gina Holt 615.382.2200
Sevierville 275 FT Kristi Inman 865.453.5504
Athens Rita Brown
Franklin 665 Shirley Harmon 615.791.3216
Alcoa 258 Melissa Thompson 865.380.4753
Oak Ridge 395 Penny Sissom 865.425.3563
MDHA (Nashville) 300 Steve Adams 615.252.8551
Jackson 671 Lynn Henning 731.425.8252
Centerville 55 Tammy Smith 931.729.4246X106
Lexington 128 Sue Wood 731.998.6657
Elizabethton 250 Angie Lyons 423.547.6248


Thanks for taking the time to respond to this survey.