Reality Check: 131 County Employees To Retire Early

Updated: Thursday, September 4 2014, 07:59 AM EDT
Reality Check: 131 County Employees To Retire Early story image
Buncombe County is set to lose 131 employees to retirement by Sept. 30.

The dozens of staffers signed on for an early retirement package that the county offered this summer.

Wednesday, county officials said they expected about 80 employees to take part in the deal. The dozens of retirees will come from across the county's 25 departments, including seven first responders leaving Emergency Medical Services.

Buncombe County Commissioner David Gantt said 131 employees is the highest number that's ever signed on when the county offered early retirement packages in the past. Gantt also said that this time, the package was likely more appealing.

"They're going to get paid their salary over the next three years is the incentive for them," said Gantt Wednesday. "Plus when they hit age 65 they're going to pick up a Medicare supplement premium."

County officials say they expect to save $1 million dollars each year going forward due to the retirements of senior employees. Gantt says a significant number of the 131 opening won't be refilled, but rather the duties absorbed by other positions or covered by new technologies.

Buncombe County staff say residents won't notice a gap in services, but say it will be a scramble and a lot of work to fill so many positions quickly.Reality Check: 131 County Employees To Retire Early
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