Utah Post-Retirement Bill in the Works

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    By Dara Blanchette

    A bill redefining where retired state employees can resume employment was pushed aside in a legislative committee meeting Monday, Sept. 18, 2006.

    State Rep. Glenn Donnelson, R-North Ogden, is sponsoring the Post-Retirement Employment Bill that defines where a retired public employee can return to work without voiding their retirement benefits.

    “Within the state retirement system, current law says you have to wait six months before being rehired in the same agency,” Donnelson said.

    The bill defines the term “agency” to mean if an employee retires from the Utah Department of Health he can”t resume work with another part of the health department within the six-month period, but he could work for the Utah Department of Corrections, Donnelson said.

    This bill was one item discussed Monday in the Retirement and Independent Entities Committee meeting. Ben Christensen, the policy analyst for the committee, said the bill will be discussed again Nov. 18 after an audit is released concerning the retirement system.

    Donnelson said this bill is being presented as a way to give newer employees a chance to advance in their department as well as correct a problem in the retirement system.

    Several Utah state-level departments spoke against the bill last year, including the Utah Chiefs of Police, Utah School Board Association and Utah Education Association.

    The Utah Department of Corrections spokesman Jack Ford said the department opposed the bill because the retired workers have the knowledge and experience needed. Ford also said his department has 15 post-retirement workers, three that retired from another department.

    If passed, this bill could affect state employees throughout Utah. The Provo City Police Department employs four post-retirement workers, although one is in Iraq, said Chris Cooper, Provo Police Department recruitment analyst.

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