The Board of Education of the Mid-Prairie Community School District may deem it appropriate to provide an early retirement incentive to classified employees of extended tenure who opt to separate from the district pursuant to this program. The purpose of this program is to provide the district's employees with the option and opportunity for early separation from their employment with the district. This early separation program is designed to show the district's appreciation for the services an employee has rendered to the district and to aid the employee in his or her transition from public service to retirement.
The board has the option to review the feasibility of this program annually. By December 15 of each year, the board will determine the maximum number of employees who will be eligible to receive benefits under this policy’s provisions at the end of the current contract year and the amount of the benefit. The board has the right to limit this benefit to certain job classifications. The board's decision may take into consideration the district's financial needs, staffing considerations, student enrollment and possible contract savings.
The school district offers an early retirement plan for full-time classified employees. Full-time classified employees are classified employees who work 40 hours per week and who are currently performing their assigned duties within the school district. A classified employee is eligible under the early retirement plan when the classified employee:
a. Has reached the age of 60 on or before June 30 of the year in which the classified employee wishes to retire and has 20 years of total consecutive experience in the Mid-Prairie Community School District. Board approved leave shall not be considered an interruption when calculating consecutive service.
b. Submits an application to the superintendent for participation in the plan on or before January 30 of the year in which the classified employee wishes to retire. Applications submitted after January 30 may be considered at the discretion of the board depending on the circumstances for the late application;
c. Submits a written resignation. The resignation may be contingent upon approval by the board of participation in the voluntary early retirement plan; and,
d. Receives board approval of the classified employee's application for participation in the early retirement plan, of the classified employee's resignation and of the disbursement of the early retirement incentive to the classified employee.
Employees will not qualify for this early separation program if:
a. They are scheduled for layoff or staff reduction;
b. They have received an official notice of layoff or termination;
c. They are subject to termination pursuant to Iowa Code Sections §279.15, §279.24, §279.25 or §279.29; or
d. They are on disability leave.
Approval by the board of the classified employee's early retirement application shall constitute a voluntary resignation. Failure of the board to approve the classified employee's early retirement application will make the classified employee's current contract with the board continue in full force and effect.
2. Contribution toward Health Insurance
An employee who applies, qualifies and is accepted for the Mid-Prairie Community School District Early Separation Program shall receive a set amount per month toward district health insurance up until the time the employee qualifies for Medicare. The amount of the benefit will be determined prior to December 15 of the current contract year for employees retiring at the end of the current school year.
In the event this Early Separation Program is altered or discontinued, persons who separated from the district under this program will continue to receive benefits under this program as authorized by the Board of Education in accepting the employee's letter of resignation.
3. Termination at Death
An employee's right to receive benefits under the Mid-Prairie Community School District's Early Separation Program shall terminate on the death of the employee and neither his or her estate, heirs, successors or assigns shall be entitled to any further benefits under the Mid-Prairie Community School District's Early Separation Program notwithstanding the fact the employee may not have received all of the benefits to which he or she would have been entitled had he or she lived.
4. Additional Conditions
The adoption of this program shall not vest any rights in any employee whether or not the employee is currently eligible for early separation. The board shall have the complete discretion to amend or repeal this program at any time when in the judgment of the board the district no longer realizes economic benefit from this program or otherwise determines that the program is not in the best interest of the district. Furthermore, the district shall not be obligated to provide any of the benefits to any employee after the date of such amendment or repeal, except to those employees whose early separation pursuant to this program has commenced prior to the amendment or repeal.
Employees who elect to participate in this program shall be eligible to be re-hired in any capacity with the Mid-Prairie Community School District; however, the Mid-Prairie Community School District shall not be required to accept an application for employment from an employee who elects to participate in the district's Early Separation Program, provided, however, that at the sole discretion of the Superintendent, the district may employ persons who elected to participate in the district's Early Separation Program as substitutes. Each employee who elects to participate in the district's Early Separation Program must specifically agree to hold the district harmless and indemnify it if the employee attempts to submit an employment application or otherwise attempts to be re-employed with the district. If an individual who elects to participate in the program is subsequently employed by the Mid-Prairie Community School District as a full time employee (substitutes and coaches excluded) the benefits of the district’s Early Separation Program shall immediately cease.
Legal Reference: 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 et seq. (1988).
Senate File 2366, 77th General Assembly, 2nd Reg. Sess. (1998).
Iowa Code §§ 97B; 216; 279.46; 509A.13 (2005).
581 I.A.C. 21.
1978 Op. Attty Gen. 247.
1974 Op. Att'y Gen. 11, 322.
Reviewed: 11-23-09, 1-23-12, 11-28-16