Testimony by Mark DelloRusso, President, SEIU Local 888 In support of, "An Act Relative to an Early Retirement Incentive for State

Employees" (S. 1256) Before the Commonwealth's Joint Committee on Public Service September 10, 2013

Local 888 unites thousands of state employees who work for the Lottery, UMass Lowell, Department of Transportation, the State Police, the Department of Public Safety and the Soldiers' Home in Chelsea and Holyoke. Most of our union's members are in Group 1 and 2. This legislation creates an important incentive for employees of the Commonwealth in Group 1 and Group 2 which would allow an employee to add five years to their age, years of service, or a combination of both (adding up to no more than five years total) to enhance the calculation of their retirement benefit. Passage of this bill will be especially helpful for state employees who started their careers in public service later in life who are ready to retire. Legislators may believe that passage of this bill will be costly. However, there is potentially a huge savings for taxpayers if older state workers are allowed to retire earlier and new jobs for younger workers are opened up. When those younger workers move up to fill vacancies, morale improves and productivity increases. Younger workers filling those vacancies are not at the top of the pay scale, yet their skills are comparable or better than the older workers they replace. Services improve and taxpayers save money. When younger workers move up, new vacancies become available for management to fill with new hires. They are likely to begin their careers at the bottom of the pay scale, use their state benefits less often and be highly productive workers. That is also good for taxpayers and state services. Please give "An Act Relative to an Early Retirement Incentive for State Employees" favorable consideration. SEIU Local 888 unites more than 8,500 public service, higher education and not-for-profit workers in Massachusetts. Learn more at: www.seiu888.org.

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