Fort Dodge Community School District

District Large Group Speech Information for January 25

Early Retirement Opportunity Offered: Assists with Financial Needs

February 6, 2012

“Seeing great staff members retire after so many dedicated years of experience and service is always tough, yet this should also be a time to celebrate,” said Assistant Superintendent Robert Hughes. “We are proud of our strong staff. These tenured staff members have the opportunity to retire early and find other meaningful life experiences.”  


In an effort to assist the District in their financial planning, the Board of Education approved a Health Insurance retirement package for eligible full time staff members at their Jan. 30 meeting. Applicable staff members are those who are 55 years of age and have 10 years of continuous service in the district. The early retirement incentive provides a vehicle to help meet budgetary needs.


“Even though our district is in stable financial shape now, we do have challenges ahead of us,” said Superintendent of Schools Doug Van Zyl. “The loss of revenue, loss of students, and increasing expenses such as IPERS and health care costs greatly impact our budget.”


The retirement packages are defined to pertain to each particular employee group. The Board made a decision to evaluate each group on a case by case basis since the amount of savings varies from one employee group to another. Van Zyl said the incentive for each package, was not an easy or random decision, but based strictly on numbers after much analysis. It is the District’s ambition to respect the many years of dedicated service along with maintaining fiscally sound budgetary practices.


“Our goal is to not make reactionary changes, but instead take cost effective proactive measures to ensure that we continue to give our students the highest quality education possible,” said Van Zyl.


The specific details for the incentive will be sent out to those employees who qualify. An informational meeting has been scheduled on Feb. 23 to provide staff members an opportunity to ask questions. Early Retirement Applications are due in the Human Resource Office by March 5. 


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