An ordinance amending the Metropolitan Employee Benefit System to provide a retirement incentive to employees of the Metropolitan Government who otherwise qualify for retirement as of February 28, 2013.

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Government has the obligation to operate on a sound fiscal basis and by law must conduct its operations within available revenues; and,

WHEREAS, each department of the Metropolitan Government has the responsibility to manage the operational funds allocated to it in the most prudent manner; and,

WHEREAS, in order to meet this responsibility, it would be beneficial if various departments of the Metropolitan Government had the ability to reorganize its management and employee structure; and,

WHEREAS; the ability to reorganize is guided by the availability of vacant employment positions; and,

WHEREAS; in the past, it has been determined that an effective method to create vacant employment positions is to offer a retirement incentive to Metropolitan Government employees who have sufficient tenure so as to qualify for retirement; and,

WHEREAS; it is in the best interest of the Metropolitan Government to enact a retirement incentive program.


Section 1. Retirement Incentive Program.
a) Notwithstanding any provision of Title Three of the Metropolitan Code, an employee of the Metropolitan Government who is eligible for a normal retirement pension or an early retirement pension, on or before February 28, 2013, and who qualifies pursuant to the conditions herein under any of the below listed provisions of the employee benefit system, shall be offered a retirement incentive equal to $700 for each year of employment with the Metropolitan Government;

(1) 3.32.020-Division A-Normal Retirement Pension.
(2) 3.32.030-Division A-Early Retirement Pension.
(3) 3.33.020-Division B-Normal Retirement Pension.
(4) 3.33.030-Division B-Early Retirement Pension.
(5) 3.36.020-Division A Police and Fire-Normal Retirement Pension.
(6) 3.36.030-Division A Police and Fire-Early Retirement Pension.
(7) 3.37.020 Division B Police and Fire Normal Retirement Pension.
(8) 3.37.030 Division B Police and Fire Early Retirement Pension.
b) The payments provided herein shall be prorated for any part of a year the employee has worked. Accrued sick leave cannot be used to increase the years of service for calculation of the retirement incentive.
c) The retirement incentive shall not be paid from any trust fund established for the Employee Benefit System but shall be paid from the savings generated in the departments in which the retirees were employed by holding their former positions vacant until the savings needed to fund the retirement incentive are generated. The appointing authority may request an exception to holding the position vacant from the Director of Human Resources and the Director of Finance by presenting an alternative that the Director of Human Resources and the Director of Finance determine will result in an equivalent savings.
d) The payments provided herein shall only be applicable if participation in the retirement incentive program is approved by the Civil Service Commission, or the Board or Authority responsible for the employee’s pay plan. For employees paid pursuant to a Letter of Agreement, the responsible official must decide whether to approve the retirement incentive program and, if approved, must amend the applicable Letter of Agreement.
e) This retirement incentive is further conditioned as follows:
(1) An eligible employee must apply between November 26, 2012 and January 18, 2013, (“Retirement Incentive Application Dates”) by filing a signed agreement provided by the Metropolitan Government and in accordance with the procedures established by the Director of Human Resources and completing all the necessary steps to retire.
(2) An employee must have held a full-time employment position within the Metropolitan Government for at least one complete year immediately preceding the date upon which the application for the incentive is filed. For purposes of this retirement incentive, an employee whose Last Work Day was on or before November 8, 2012, who clearly conveyed the intention to retire by signing a Request for Service Pension, and, if any vacation leave was available, who began taking such leave with the intent to use the remainder before signing the final retirement documents is not considered to be holding a full-time employment position and is not eligible for this retirement incentive.
(3) The retirement incentive payment will not be included in the calculation of the employee’s average earnings for the purpose of calculating the pension.
(4) The retirement incentive shall be paid within 30 days after the Effective Retirement Date (the last date on which the employee is on the payroll of the Metropolitan Government).
(5) Any employee who accepts this retirement incentive shall be ineligible for rehire with the Metropolitan Government for a period of one year from the Effective Retirement Date. After one year, the employee will be permitted to work for the Metropolitan Government on a part time basis. Part time shall be construed as up to the maximum number of hours that can be worked per week that does not qualify for pension benefits. In no event may the employee receive pay that is greater than the hourly rate the employee was receiving at the time the employee accepted the retirement incentive. If, notwithstanding the provisions herein, an employee who received this retirement incentive returns to full or part-time (in excess of the permitted amount) employment with the Metropolitan Government, the full amount of the retirement incentive must be repaid immediately or deducted from the employee’s salary at the maximum amount permitted by law. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions to the contrary, this subsection:
i. Shall not prohibit any employee who accepts this retirement incentive from being rehired on a part-time basis to lead, teach, or coach students in extra-curricular activities and/or to serve as a substitute teacher for the Metropolitan Board of Public Education, or to serve in any other part-time position permitted by Sec. 12.05 of the Metropolitan Charter; or,

ii. Shall not prohibit the appointing authority from designating key employees who are needed by the Metropolitan Government on a part-time basis in order to provide essential services to the employing department. In such cases, the appointing authority, with the approval of the Director of Human Resources and the Director of Finance, may allow an employee who has accepted the retirement incentive payment to continue to work on a part-time basis, as defined above, and under the same described restrictions, for a period of time that shall not extend past June 30, 2013.
(6) Any employee who receives the retirement incentive must agree:
i. To relinquish any right to continued full-time employment with the Metropolitan Government;
ii. To effectively retire such that the Last Work Day (the last day the employee actually works before using accrued vacation leave, if any) is on or before February 28, 2013;
iii. Not to return to part-time employment with the Metropolitan Government, except to the extent permitted in Section 1, subsection (e)(5) of this ordinance; and
iv. To release any unasserted pre-retirement employment related claims and any claims related to ineligibility for future employment that the employee might have against the Metropolitan Government.
Section 2. Public Safety and Welfare Extension
a) The appointing authority, along with concurrence by the Director of Finance and the Director of Human Resources, shall have the right to extend the date of the Last Work Day of some personnel past February 28, 2013, under the following conditions:
(1) A large number of personnel directly involved in providing essential services to benefit the safety and welfare of the public choose to accept this retirement incentive; and,
(2) As a result of this, the appointing authority and the Director of Human Resources determine that there is the probability of inadequate staffing to assure public safety and welfare; and,
(3) Adequate staffing can be provided by extending the date of the Last Work Day as provided in this Section to allow additional time to fill some vacancies arising due to this retirement incentive.
b) In no event shall the Last Work Day for such public safety personnel be later than June 30, 2013.
c) Except as modified in this Section, the above referenced personnel shall be required to meet all the conditions set out in Section 1 including compliance with the Retirement Incentive Application Dates.
d) The retirement incentive payment for any such personnel covered under this section shall be paid within thirty (30) days after the employee’s Effective Retirement Date.
e) The retirement incentive payment will not be included in the calculation of the public safety employee’s average earnings for the purpose of calculating the pension.

Section 3. This ordinance shall take effect from and after its final passage, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Brady Banks, Lonnell Matthews, Edith Taylor Langster


Introduced: November 20, 2012
Passed First Reading: November 20, 2012
Referred to: Budget & Finance Committee
Personnel Committee
Passed Second Reading: December 4, 2012
Passed Third Reading: December 18, 2012
Approved: December 19, 2012
By: mayor's signature