Government: 79 People Taking Early Retirement

April 9, 2015

The 2015/16 Budget highlighted an early retirement eligibility plan for Government employees aged between 55 and 64 years, and today [April 9] the Cabinet Office said that 79 people will have taken early retirement by June 30, 2015, and “Government foresees some $6.2 million in savings from salaries.”

The full statement from the Cabinet Office is below:

The public will recall that the 2015/16 Budget Statement highlighted as a cost saving measure, the extension of the early retirement eligibility plan for Government employees aged between 55 and 64 years.

And today, the Cabinet Office provided an update regarding the initiative. It should be noted that 850 government employees were eligible under the scheme.

And by June 30, 2015, 79 individuals will have taken advantage of the early retirement initiative. As a result, the Government foresees some $6.2 million in savings from salaries.

For clarity, the breakdown is as follows:

  • As of March 31, 2015 of the 850 government workers who were eligible to receive early retirement, 93 individuals applied.
  • Forty-eight [48] individuals had been approved for early retirement as of March 31.
  • A further 31 were approved for early retirement as of June 30.
  • Of the remaining applications, 12 were denied, one was withdrawn and another voided.

Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service Dr. Derrick Binns thanked those retiring individuals for their service to the Government, and wished them well in their future endeavors.

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  1. biggadon says:

    maybe now we can give those social workers back their jobs !

    • d. smith says:

      And others including myself in other Dept’s. Providing vital services.

      • d. smith says:

        Amazing how wicked and prejudgmental these bloggers are. Never mind I hold two masters degrees am working towards a PhD and countless overtime put in without compensation….

    • WarwickBoy says:

      I understand the need for them but these cuts have to be permanent if we are to make the size and cost of the CS sustainable going forward. There will need to be further cuts of unnecessary positions in Govt – perhaps after we have eliminated 200 of them, we can reinstate 20 social workers positions.

      All of the cuts that have occurred in the last year have to be permanent to have any effect.

    • Ridiculous says:

      March was Social Workers month!!! Its a slap in the face that during a time set aside for social workers to be appreciated they were instead let go and deemed non-essential. Thank you for supporting our social workers. Hopefully govt does the same.

  2. smh says:

    Unfortunately, this will make the government operations less efficient thus providing the govt. with an excuse for privatization..Rock and a hard place.

    • Creamy says:

      Getting the same result for $6.5m less cost per year is actually more efficient, not less.

      • Dude says:

        Pretty sure that their underlying sentiment is that we won’t get the same result… hence less efficient operationally…

      • Jus' Wonderin' says:

        some people didn’t go school lol…

  3. Vote for Me says:

    Cuts must be made but the real question is whether we are losing seasoned employees and causing gaps in service.

    • Mike says:

      Well, let’s just hope they only accepted those that would have the minimum affect.

      • inside man says:

        That is not the case. They will take early retirements where they can get them. I know where Directors and senior officials have left or retired early and these positions are not being filled. They are getting people to act in those positions. Doing more with less philosophy. Only 421 civil servants to go. This is the reality.

      • Kangoocar says:

        @mike, seriously??? We have an overbloated CS by approx 2500 people for a population our size, and you are worried about whether these 79′people will only have a minimum effect??? My god, wake up!!! No wonder we are in the financial hell hole that we are in with your type of thinking???

        • X vote says:

          Hey clown next time you come off the plane and ask where are all the customs officers now you know. So be prepared to wait in line.

          • Barracuda says:

            Like it would be any different.

          • serengeti says:

            Like it always has been, you mean?

          • Jus' Wonderin' says:

            like you guys do any work anyways smdh….harrassing people always

            • Codfish and Potatoes says:

              I dare you to say that next time you go through US Customs!

    • Creamy says:

      Maybe the others could reduce their sick leave from 14 weeks to, say, 12 weeks a year, to pick up the slack.

      But I have a feeling no one will know the difference.

      • Gombey Liberation Partier says:

        You speak as if everyone uses all their sick leave. Only a very small percentage use their entire allotment, and by the way that’s certified sick leave under doctor advice. Most don’t even use more than six DAYS per year and I know persons in the CS who have never taken even one sick day in three years.

        • Tough Love says:

          Exactly!

        • Codfish and Potatoes says:

          That “small percentage” costs millions of dollars every year. More that the saving on this batch of retirees!!

    • Fed up civil servant says:

      Seasoned, experienced employees…gone trust me. What contingency plan? Whats that?

      • Creamy says:

        Seat warmers. No one will notice one iota of difference.

  4. Cut backs aren’t always set-ups…We all are aware that Government has far too many employees therefore something must / has to be done to alleviate some of the financial woes we’re all facing.

    • Jus' Askin' says:

      What study has been done to make us all aware?
      All I know is this government will say and do as they please and people like You will back them no matter what ;-)

      • A word to the wise:
        “Make no judgments where you have no compassion.” -Anne McCaffrey, writer (1 Apr 1926-2011)

      • Jus' Wonderin' says:

        Maybe you should read the BIU/OBA transcripts from the cuts, etc. Then you’d see but your too dumb to do that

    • The 79,(out of 850 that are eligible) that have accepted thus-far an early retirement aren’t coming from one Dept. There’s a broad spectrum of Government Dept. and certainly there isn’t a need for many workers that are presently employed in some areas.

  5. ??? says:

    Seventy-nine, people are taking early retirement, saving government some $6.2 million Therefore can some let the tax payers know how much the retirement packages are going to COST government. Nothing has been said in this regard.

    • Bermy says:

      Presumably $6.2mil is a net number that already factors in the retirement package that was provided.

  6. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    The young ones don’t have a clue ,they are to busy on their cell phones.

  7. Fed up civil servant says:

    You know what annoys me, there’s people above making all these decisions who have no clue on the day to day operations of how departments work. They let people go set a hiring freeze on positions “they” feel are essential and basically have departments working skeleton crew and expecting similar outcomes. All they see is savings meanwhile we that are left are running around like headless chickens, told to be creative as this opportunity will help us be diverse yada yada. I agree some people in the civil service don’t do jack, while some us hours are from 9am until including weekends. It’s going to reach a point when the operation breaks…….people are your most valuable asset, you keep cutting and expecting the same output and sooner or later your operation will fail……i bet there will be an increase in sick days throughout from people getting burn out. Already happening with the bus drivers,or people having breakdowns Lord. The hiring freeze could work but the blanket approach and terms of it was poorly thought out and executed.

    • Kangoocar says:

      @fed up, in the private sector when a business is failing employees are let go and those that are left have to do MORE!!! If they don’t they all lose their jobs!!! The bermuda government ” thanks to the the previous government plp” is broke and failing!!! Do I really need to say more???? Hope this helps???

      • 1 Term says:

        Previous government REALLY. Last I checked the oba fake party have been hiring new employees since they got in power. If I recall your leader the Milk man said he didn’t know this was happening. How could he and the rest of his team of puppets not know what’s happening? Govt emails come out every week with new jobs right to his IpHoNe.

        • Bermyman says:

          Time for the Civil Servant PLP/BIU voting block to pay the piper for the $2 BILLION dollars the PLP government squandered.

          Hiring people to fix the mess and win bids like the America’s cup is totally worth it. Letting people go that have been underworked and overpaid is also worth it!

          One shining example under the PLP was Faith based tourism! That was one of many blatant schemes to pilfer the public purse.

    • Pay attention says:

      To fed up civil servant-Stop being so ridiculous! Get on with your profession and be grateful to be fully employed with benefits. The retirements were VOLUNTARY not forced and had to be agreed to by the immediate manager after a risk assessment!!!

      • Young Bermudian says:

        I’m a fellow civil servant and get tired of the public sector generalization. One media and OBA has exasperated the misconceptions of government employees. Coming home and working as a civil servant has opened my eyes. For every spoiled apple there is a bag of good ones, the same application can be said of the Civil Service. The blanket approach that fed up spoke to is going to undermine the fabric of the good workers that re left. I have taken almost a 30% paycut returning to Bermuda. I can make the same amount of money in the US or Canada, have more discretionary income and be treated better than my own countrymen.

    • Curious says:

      ‘i bet there will be an increase in sick days throughout from people getting burn out’

      Statements like this are one of the reasons those in the private sector scorn the CS.

  8. bluebird says:

    But they will be getting a Goverment Pension and benifits,and maybe a GOLDEN handshake as Goverment is still borrowing $1Million dollars a day except for Sundays and holidays to pay the Civil Service.
    And how long can this continue as it still adds to our $2BILLION DOLLAR DEBT.???

    • @ bluebird: “It’s the lesser of the two evils” :-( Of course, if Government don’t seek people to fulfill the voids that are created then it’s a plus offering early retirements…

    • Quinton Berkley Butterfield says:

      You and Kangoocar have such a hard on for the civil service it is almost obscene… Every post you make is about them. Bernews could run an article about kites and Guinea Pigs and somehow you will tie it back to “the bloated civil service” Me and my co-worker crack up reading your and KC’s posts…

      • JUNK YARD DOG says:

        @Quinton BB

        Why defend them, you and your children are paying for it

        @ Kangoocar is 100 % correct.

        We all seen it happen every day.
        This also happens in the Private Sector.
        There are some Government workers not all, who !
        Take all the sick leave they can.
        Swing the lead.
        Go slow.
        Come to work late, go early.
        Take time off.
        Pretend to be working,
        Take two hour lunches ,
        Spend part of the day surfing the net.

        This is only the half of it.

        Time workers put on either ” piece work”or contract or paid by the hour and on a punch time clock.

        Who do you blame “MANAGEMENT” ! because they are relatives or family.

        SAGE…………. eliminate all paid public holidays.

        • Quinton Berkley Butterfield says:

          I wasn’t defending anyone, I was saying Bluebird and Kangoocar have a sick obsession with the civil service….

          • Kangoocar says:

            Don’t take it personally Quinton, it is the size of the CS, and if it is not cut it will in the end be the final nail in the bermuda coffin!!! As Junkyard Dog said, you and your children are paying for it!!! The problem is it does not matter which government is in power, the day is coming that they will have no money to pay the CS workers!!! Then what????

  9. Say What? says:

    Let’s applaud the Government for seeking ways to minimize the impact on everyone through voluntary retirements. We have a long way to go but this is as much about changing the mindset of our govt workers as much as about looking to cutting long term costs of running the civil service. These are people who through no fault of their own worked in a bureaucracy that is no longer sustainable. They voluntarily retired and deserve respect for their service. If you want to fire negative comments, blame the policy makers who got us in this mess in the first place – the previous govt.

  10. Terry says:

    We have no money for certain funding/s et al.
    Where is this money (millions) coming from.
    A question and an opinion.

  11. Ace girl says:

    Early retirement as a cost saving is confusing to me. These individuals then are no longer contributing members to the Superannuation fund or GEHI which was underfunded from the start. It is my understanding that it is not being funded this year either. So we save 6+ million this year in salaries but what does it mean in the long term with a bigger strain on the Superannuation fund and the Health Insurance scheme. Not only that non contributing spouses are also entitled to Health Insurance coverage at the time of the employee’s retirement. Could this be a move to deplete both of these schemes in the long term? Just asking!

    • Codfish and Potatoes says:

      Ace let me try to help.

      First, the $6 ml is saved right away, take it out of the budget. The benefits paid to pensioners were earned over the years and are fixed on retirement. No need to continue to contribute as you won’t get any more.

      Second, retirees pay for GEHI out of their pocket. And yes, it goes up on a regular basis (i.e 1 April 2015). I don’t think there is a non-contributing spouse. Their premiums have to be paid also. (I think you mean non-working spouse).

      Both Super Ann and GEHI are in trouble. That can be fixed by increasing deductions from beneficiaries (working and retired persons) in the long term. The taxpayers may not have to help financially but they to pay the ongoing salaries for the current workforce.

  12. Coming soon says:

    yes we are cutting costs, which is cool…but wait until they figure out how to implement a tax on goods and SERVICES…brace Bermuda bumpy ride / huge Sacrifices ahead…

    Nails – taxed, car washes his – taxed, Spa treatment – taxed, health services – you get the point..

  13. Alvin Williams says:

    The government seem disappointed that all 850 government workers did not resign on mass; the question than to be asked than what? Almost a thousand Bemudians added to the nearly 4 thousand that can not find jobs? And the solution is to bring in more people to do what jobs? This is the agenda of this government; to create a Bermuda without the Bermudian; the Caymanization of Bermuda.

    • Codfish and Potatoes says:

      I think the Government wanted (and needed) a better response. Persons nearing retirement are to so called low hanging fruit in workforce reduction. They are going anyway so give them a push.

      If all 850 left, services would collapse along with the pension fund so that was not realistic.

      If a future offer is made, a year’s salary would help. Many potential employees realized that after six months, there would be no paycheck, only a smaller pension. Those is a good financial position made the smart move and left. The unfortunate part is those persons were probably some of the smartest and most effective employees.

  14. Casual Observer says:

    Some Civil servants don’t want furloughs…

    Some Civil servants don’t want overtime reduction…

    Some Civil servants don’t want to contribute 1% more into their underfunded pension plans…

    Some Civil servants don’t want performance appraisals…

    Some Civil servants don’t want redundancies in place of furloughs (which saved jobs)…

    Some Civil servants don’t want to reduce the size of the civil service via attrition, hiring freezes or the elimination of temporary contract workers…

    Might I remind you guys that the BTUC came up with the proposals in the last line as a means to stave off furlough days, along with othe ringeniius cost saving methods such as eliminating ioffice plants and their watering costs…

    It is almost as if our financial position is a joke and some myth being peddled by the Government…

    Can I ask why the UK can operate with a civil service that equates to 0.64% of the total population, but tiny Bermuda needs a civil service that is approximately 10% of the population and 15% of the workforce? Why do some above believe that lower civil servant numbers will equal massive inefficiencies?

    I don’t agree with redundancies at this point and as such do acknowledge the need for other options such as attrition, hiring freezes and early retirements and the shedding of non-full time workers.

    If you can’t reduce the biggest expenditure then the necessary cuts will have to be made from the smaller expenditures. So do not complain when temporary contract workers are cut, when social programs are cut, when capital projects cannot be undertaken, when taxes are raised to sustain the civil service costs.

    It is pretty simple to understand people.

    • A Thought For Today:

      “You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” -Anne Lamott, writer (b. 10 Apr 1954)

    • Codfish and Potatoes says:

      Casual Observer, I held my breath when you mentioned the UK service. I though your were going to say it was a model for Bermuda. NOT! Many of the major services in the UK are privatized and there are constant complaints about fraud and wasted money throughout the service. Check out “Benefits Street” on YouTube.
      Like the UK, the Bermuda Government has bent over backwards giving benefits to the Unions because of the fear of strikes and slowdowns. A good example – try to discipline a government worker or deny them leave. They will call in sick and get a full day (or longer) pay. The Union Representative will tell you there is nothing you can do about that!

  15. San George says:

    If the government utilized private vendors government would never have grown to the size it has. Government is competing with the private sector i.e., trucking, administration, equipment, etc.

    It’s not privatization – its utilizing what already exists instead of government competing with the private sector.

  16. Ms. Poli Tician says:

    My key question regarding retirements is if current incumbents will be promoted? The recent appointment of an outside Director of DCI speaks volumes to Government’s succession planning, or lack thereof.

    But now the pressure is on the Public Service Commission to get the key/urgent positions filled. And there are plenty of unemployed non-civil servants looking for work. The PSC is not known for its speed. I just hope the PSC does not use that tired, over-used argument that a person is over-qualified. Trust me, the person applying knows they are over-qualified too. But denying a person a job because they are over-qualified, is discriminatory, wrong and repugnant. In my opinion, that entire excuse I s rooted in the following old fashioned mind-set:

    -Immigration Department accepts over-qualification of a Bermudian as an excuse to hire an ex-pat
    -An over qualified person will keep job hunting until they find the right position
    -an over qualified person might “think” and talk back
    -an over qualified person might take the boss’s position
    -an over qualified person will demand more in salary and benefits

    The over-qualification argument became en vogue when many black Bermudians were returning to the island in the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s with advanced degrees. “Over-qualification”, in my opinion, is Jim Crow wrapped up in a professional, shiny ribbon.

    I was flabbergasted once to learn that a foreign short order chef, here in Bermuda, was a qualified Teacher in his home-land. Did anyone tell him he was over-qualified? No.

    So, instead of marching for all these silly, benign reasons, we need to start doing some hard research and analysis of jobs data, and hold Immigration, PSC and OBA accountable for some of the hiring decisions that are made.

    Just my opinion.

    • Codfish and Potatoes says:

      Point if correction – salary and benefits are fixed for the vast majority of civil servants. Negotiations are not possible.

  17. sassymama says:

    @coming soon – I couldn’t say it better. Then the people would be crying and moaning when it really hits their pocket because we haven’t seen anything yet.

    And they only found 79 to retire, you mean to tell me, they couldn’t find more, out of how many thousands? Something smells rotten in Denmark, as the old saying goes.

  18. Just a matter of time says:

    @ Pay attention. Management were not allowed to be coercive or influential in any way to those making the choice to retire early. Once again the private vs public poisonous rhetoric negatively continues for the Bdian civil servant. I say Bdian because I have often read that all of the 10% or less ex pat civil servants do all of the work for the entire Govt. About 500 persons or less. This nonsense private vs public rhetoric never happened prior to 1998 yet much better efficiencies were put into place post 1998 unbeknownst to the OBA supporting naysayers on this board and in the OBA Govt who refuse to only believe the worst. Believe me I know. The OBA have rarely if ever shown gratitude to the civil service. Bdians need to be continuously aware of where the real poison lies with this CS feeding frenzy.

  19. Just a matter of time says:

    Sorry not refuse. Who only believe the worst.

  20. bluebird says:

    TO QBB and others who cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel but only as far as the end of the nose.
    May I remind you that we OWE over $2Billion Civil Service pension UNDER-funded buy $1BILLION Government Pension fund Underfunded by $2Billion.
    You can BEATUP UP on the Private sector all you want but it is DEAD and it aint coming back as to LARGE a portion of the population is trying to live off those that produce the TAXES.
    As we continue IT WILL COLLASPSE just look at Greece for example.(today)
    Beside the Civil Servants “DRAW”both the Civil Service Pension and the Government Pension,and produce nothing.
    SO QBB TELL ME WHAT DOES THE GOVERMENT PRODUCE LIKE IN DOLLARS TO PAY YOU,I am talking about produce NOT TAKING FROM OTHERS.

  21. Gombey Rasta says:

    Will those who are in their thirties get a pension at 65?

    • Portia says:

      In short, I believe, yes.

      I say that as a person in her 30s myself. There is a lot of misconception and fear about people younger than 40 getting no pension when they retire. Yes, Social Insurance needs fixing and it has to be funded better for the future, but there is still lots of time to do that before people our age retire.

      No Government – whether left or right leaning – would have the testicular fortitude to cut off Government pensions entirely. If they did, they would basically be ensuring that they would NEVER be elected again, because the public back-lash would be so great.

      However, they CAN reduce the amount of pension you would get at 65, or make it so that you can only start getting it at say, 67 instead of 65. But I doubt it will go away completely.

      However, don’t use it as your life line for a secure retirement. Retirement savings should consist of a combination of 1) any pension funds saved through your employer, 2) personal savings/ investments (i.e. a rental property) and 3) Government pension. You need to look out for all 3 if you want to come out ok.

  22. Ace girl says:

    In any budgetary planning proces you tax the wants versus the needs. Nails, hairdressing, manicures, pedicures, alcohol, cigarettes etc. Ii just makes common sense. What we all need to ask ourselves is what are the predictions for healthcare and for pensions in this country. To heck with highlights and perms if you need dialysis or cardiac care. You can tax the superfluous services to the hilt, but countries are morally bound to provide healthcare and pensions for those who have contributed.

  23. To my best judgement and understanding,i real it rather redundant and abase to the virtues of sage wisdom and clarity to even consider such a valuable and knowledgable resource….here we have knowledgable and time saving money saving people…who are well versed in their respective duties…the jobs they pervue are not as well suited to trainies…presuming there have been any…could not we utilosed these wise and learned resources to full value to at least two more years ,in this way they could train their replacements to a compitent level of requium?