In an effort to cut payroll, the state expects to start offering older employees five years of continued health care coverage if they agree to retire early, the state’s administration chief told a Wichita Republican group Friday.
But a leader of a state employee union said the union hasn’t agreed to any such buyouts — and has to before they can be put into effect.
At a Friday meeting, Secretary of Administration Dennis Taylor told the Wichita Pachyderm Club: “Next week, we’re going to be announcing a retirement incentive program that’s going to be designed to reduce the size of government.
“Obviously we’re in a situation that’s making that more necessary than ever, given the urgency associated with the disparity between revenues and expenditures.” After the meeting, he said health coverage — and in some cases cash — would be the main incentives to encourage employees to retire early and save the state their salaries. “What’s been talked about has been providing an incentive of five years of the state picking up the health care for people who would agree to retire — (coverage) for five years or up to the age of 65, whichever came first,” he said.
“That’s the primary option,” he added. “There’s a secondary option of lump-sum cash payment for people who might not be on the state (health) plan.”
Jane Carter, executive director of the Kansas Organization of State Employees, said the workers represented by her union haven’t agreed to that.