MSU enrollment puts brakes on retirement incentive program

Published 4:46 pm Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mississippi State University has called off a retirement-incentive program because of increased enrollment this semester.

“Our faculty and staff support systems would be severely stressed if we lost an important part of our work force,” MSU President Doc Foglesong said in a statement. “Every member of our team is valuable, and it would be very difficult to lose the continuity and contributions of those eligible to retire.”

University officials said 17,039 students are enrolled this semester.

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Mississippi State initiated an early retirement incentive for employees in 2002 as a cost-cutting measure. The bait was a cash bonus to those workers eligible to retire. When the program began, officials estimated it would reduce the payroll by about $5 million a year.

State College Board statistics show 221 MSU employees retired in 2002, up from the 105 the previous year. Those who took the special retirement offer got a one-time bonus to leave early and then continue to receive their pension checks from the state’s regular retirement program.

Foglesong said the school might offer the retirement incentive at some point.