Seaman School District Explores New Early Retirement Benefits

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Retirement may not be coming as soon as once thought for teachers in the Seaman School District.

Teachers and board members discussed changing early retirement benefits for educators during Monday's board meeting.

The change would mean that, in order to apply, a staff member must be at least 60 years old, worked for the district for 20 years and been on the health care plan for at least five years.

District Superintendent Mike Mathes says the way they handle benefits right now, costs them about $350,000 a year.

He said the plan was initially in place to help the district.

"We could have our higher paying people who are making $55,000 - $60,000 a year retire," said Mathes. "We could pay $7,000 a year for insurance and then hire somebody in at $35,000 to replace them so it was making us money initially."

"Where our concerns come in, is if someone is planning on retiring and they've been doing the planning, will that affect them negatively?" said Clayton Schrader, President of the Seaman Education Association.

The board didn't take action on the item Monday night. They plan to do so next month.