Iowa system seeks school retirement reform

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

An early retirement incentive offered annually to Des Moines educators no longer serves its purpose and threatens to become a financial drain on the school district, officials say.

Last year, $337,460 was used from the general fund to pay for early retirement benefits. That money, although a small percentage of the district’s budget, could have been used to hire more teachers. In addition, without the incentive, property owners in the district could have seen a slightly lower property tax rate.

School board members will vote June 3 on whether to scale back the early retirement incentive in 2015-16 — a move teachers say will have implications on the financial futures of more than 400 Des Moines educators age 55 and older.

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