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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Gov’t to launch incentivized retirement for non-essential workers


Gov. Pedro Pierluisi


By THE STAR STAFF


The island government and the Financial Oversight and Management Board have reached an agreement that would open an incentivized retirement program for some 1,240 public workers.


Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia, along with the executive director of the government retirement board, Luis M. Collazo Rodríguez, announced late last week that both parties reached an agreement for the partial implementation of Act 80-2020, the “Law of the Incentivized Retirement Program and Justice for Our Public Servants” that would benefit workers whose jobs are non-essential.


The more than 1,200 eligible employees can retire with 50% of their highest annual compensation over the last three years if they decide to retire. In addition to their lifetime pension, they will receive a $100 contribution to the medical plan until they turn 62, plus payment for their accumulated vacations. The work plan targets the departure of these employees by the middle of the first half of 2024. In the coming weeks, eligible employees and government entities will receive instructions on how to proceed during the implementation period.


“After reaching an agreement with the [oversight] Board, today we can announce that the Incentive Retirement Program is a reality and that eligible non-essential employees of Act 1-1990 and Act 447 of 1951 can retire with a lifetime pension of 50 percent,” the governor said. “At the same time, we achieved significant savings for the government. Once again, we fulfill our commitment by demonstrating the viability of the partial implementation of the law so that our public servants have a dignified retirement after giving the best years of their lives serving the people of Puerto Rico.”


Collazo added that the agreement requires the final approval of the federal Title III bankruptcy court in order to proceed with the subsequent implementation procedures.


Once approved, they can proceed with “the necessary operational, budgetary and administrative changes to put the Incentivized Retirement agreement into effect,” he said.


Before the agreement, the agencies affirmed and certified that eliminating non-essential positions would not harm services to the people and that they will not be replaced, recreated or restructured in the future since the benefits are guaranteed.


“This is great news, and we thank all parties for working toward a beneficial agreement for these employees,” Collazo said. “After years of fighting for the law’s implementation after its annulment in 2021, over 1,200 employees belonging to 57 public agencies and corporations will now be able to retire.”


“This agreement required an exhaustive and detailed evaluation process to enable the retirement of each public servant who qualified for the incentivized retirement,” the official added. “It is important to highlight that, soon, eligible employees will have to complete their pension application with the Retirement Coordinator of their respective agencies, along with the required documents and procedures.”

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