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Surge of retirements could hit city soon

June 1, 2011

A quarter of the city's employees are likely to retire within the next five years.

In 2011, 25 employees are expected to end their service to Wauwatosa. Within the next five years, 112 employees are expected to retire, according to a report by Michael Loy, city health and productivity coordinator.

This follows a decade that saw 134 retirements.

The Employee Relations Committee on Tuesday postponed discussion about retirement trends due to time constraints, but the topic could be back on the table in two weeks.

At this time, 38 Wauwatosa employees meet full retirement eligibility for the state retirement system. Another 78 employees could retire early and receive a reduced benefit, an option few people choose.

Retirements have financial ramifications for the city, accounting for about a quarter of the city's health care expenses, City Administrator James Archambo said. The city pays up to 110 percent of the previous year's premium for employees hired prior to 2008 who have worked here at least 15 years and have reached age 50 (police and fire employees) or 55 (other employees).

For employees hired after 2008, the most the city pays 50 percent of retiree health insurance premiums.

On average, police and fire retirees are on the city's health insurance for 10 years, while other city retirees generally get the benefits for five years. The benefits cease when retirees become eligible for Medicare.

At a glance

Average age and years of service at retirement by employment broup

AFSCME: average years of service, 29.1; average retirement age, 58.8; number of retirees since January 2000, 29

Fire supervisors: 28.3, 54.1, 3

Fire union: 28.5, 54.1, 35

Nonrep: 22.8, 60.6, 20

Police union: 31.7, 55.6, 13

OPEIU: 23.6, 60.2, 20

Police supervisors: 30.8, 54.8, 11

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