Could Denver Employees Opt for Early Retirement?

September 2009
Along with the tight credit market, consumer hesitance, and business losses, here's another reason the job market is so hard to crack: Many older Americans lost a lot of their retirement and investment savings in the financial meltdown and now can't afford to retire. That's according to The New York Times, which adds a kicker sure to make any patriot grumble: Masses of Europeans with old-school government or corporate pensions are retiring happily. Too many Americans with private-run pensions are meanwhile holding onto their jobs out of necessity or fear---or both. That's creating a glut for companies and is no help to the 14-million-and-rising Americans looking for work. Within this economic climate, the Denver City Council readies itself to consider an early-retirement program in order to ease its own financial constraints. About 960 city employees are eligible for the deal---a $500-a-month stipend for 30 months---writes The Denver Post, which does not report whether potential retirees find the program equitable. The Post does point out that about a quarter of employees opted for a similar offer in 2004. According to the plan, the city could save between $4.9 million and $10.3 million in the first year and $8.9 million and $18.7 million in the second, but the latter savings would come from different pots of money and wouldn't go entirely toward easing the pressure on the city's general fund and its $120 deficit.