The Ottumwa Courier

December 19, 2012

Indian Hills to let some staff retire sooner

MARK NEWMAN
Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — For the first time in three years, some long-serving employees at one of Ottumwa’s larger employers could get something extra if they choose to retire.

While exact details of the plan have not yet been sent to Indian Hills Community College staff members, the decision was finalized by the college last week.

“The board did decide to provide an incented retirement plan,” said Jim Lindenmayer, the school’s president.

Those eligible to participate will get a packet in the mail. This isn’t a regular occurrence at the college.

“In making what I consider a wise decision, our board has decided that the plan would be offered only when there’d be a significant savings to the college and the taxpayers,” he said.

That’s why the program didn’t run last year or the year before.

“The incented piece is that we’re trying to draw people in to retire, that there is some benefit to them — but there’s more to the college and the taxpayers,” Lindenmayer said.  

Typically, when an employer has someone vacate a position they’ve been in for a long time, the organization can fill that spot with a newer employee, who, with less experience, can be fairly compensated at a lower pay rate.

And in some organizations, no one is hired to fill the spot — which means more savings without having to terminate anyone. That probably won’t happen at Indian Hills, however.

“I’d like to think we’ve already found [and eliminated unnecessary positions] previously,” said Lindenmayer.

Indian Hills’ largest expenditure on its annual budget report has traditionally been payroll.