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City may lose managers over cuts

Thanks to state pension rules, Evanston is likely to see more leadership turnover if the City Council tonight adopts its new budget with the planned 5 percent pay cuts for all management-level city workers.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says a number of division-level managers are likely to decide to retire rather than take the pay cuts.

Thanks to state pension rules, Evanston is likely to see more leadership turnover if the City Council tonight adopts its new budget with the planned 5 percent pay cuts for all management-level city workers.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says a number of division-level managers are likely to decide to retire rather than take the pay cuts.

The retirement decision makes economic sense for managers who are near retirement age, because under state pension rules their retirement benefits are based on the salary they were earning on the date they retired.

So a 5 percent cut in earnings under the new city budget would mean a 5 percent lifetime reduction in their pension benefits.

Many other pension plans instead base retirement pay on an average of earnings over several years, or on a worker’s highest-earning years.

The move may be least likely to affect the city’s top department-level managers, since nearly all of those positions turned over when employees were offered early retirement incentives two years ago.

But of the more than two dozen people who manage divisions within city departments, Bobkiewicz says he already knows of at least two people who plan to leave if the pay cuts are imposed. And another source with ties to city government says the count could be twice as high.

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