BOUNTIFUL -- City officials have made a modification in their retirement policy, affecting the ability of a retiring employee to cash in on unused sick leave.
The city council recently voted to amend the retirement policy for retirees, effective July 1, 2012.
The new policy allows an employee who has worked 30 years for the city and is at least age 55, or an employee who is 60 and has worked at least 25 years, to cash in their unused sick leave for up to 1,440 hours toward a health retirement account.
The HRA will be funded by 50 percent of the accrued sick leave up to a certain maximum.
Previously, the city allowed retirees to cash in up to 288 hours of sick leave at their current rate of pay. City Attorney Russell Mahan said it was intended for retirees to have both benefits at the same time, so a change in the old policy was needed.
City Manager Tom Hardy claims the city was forced into the change by rising costs.
"It's just what we had to do," Hardy said.
He estimated there are potentially eight city employees who may retire in the next 15 months.
He estimated the old policy could have cost the city $50,000 to $60,000 per employee compared to $3,000 to $5,000 with the adjustment.