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IWCC approves first batch of early retirement applicants

IWCC approves first batch of early retirement applicants

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Brandy Brooks wears a mask as she arranges inventory inside the Iowa Western College store on June 16.

The Iowa Western Community College Board of Trustees approved 12 applications for early retirement on Monday that were submitted in time for the early deadline on Oct. 2.

The applicants will have the opportunity to retire on Dec. 31, 2020, Jan. 31, 2021 or June 30, 2021, depending on staffing arrangements with President Dan Kinney, and receive early retirement incentives, according to Eddie Holtz, vice president of finance. Eight of the applicants chose Dec. 31, 2020 as their preferred retirement date, two chose January, and two selected June 30, 2021.

Applicants who qualify may receive a percentage of their annual salary (based on years of service), plus the college’s contribution toward their insurance benefits until they qualify for Medicare, Holtz said during an earlier meeting. The salary portion can be paid in a lump sum or up to three payments divided between two tax years. To qualify, an employee must be at least 55 years old and have at least 10 years of service at the college.

The college has offered the incentive program, based on a state model, every three to five years, he said.

Employees have until Dec. 4 to sign up to retire on June 30 and receive the incentives, Holtz said. All applications must be approved by the board. Around 40 of the college’s almost 400 full-time employees may qualify. The college anticipates saving more than $100,000 through the early retirement program.

“I still think we’ll get more than 20, and I think the amount we’ll save will be much, much more,” he said.

That could prove valuable, as Kinney said Monday that the college would need to cut $300,000 to $350,000 from its budget because of a drop in enrollment.

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