State HR department releases employee retirement report

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The state Department of Human Resources has released a report that among other things looks at how many people are expected to retire by June 30, 2027

A state Human Resources report says that Delaware hasn’t seen a spike in employee retirements in the last several years.

It’s important information in guiding plans to recruit and retain employees, said Claire DeMatteis, secretary of the Department of Human Resources.

It’s also important information to members of the Statewide Employees Benefits Committee and subcommittee, who are trying to hammer out a new deal for health insurance for government retirees.

Delaware, like every other employer, has had trouble hiring workers. The report, DeMatteis said, will help the department determine the best ways to make state salaries more competitive, invest in employee training and career advancement, and promote a healthy work-life balance.”

The State of Delaware Retirement Eligibility Report report looked at the number of state employees eligible to retire by June 30, 2027. It looked specifically at Executive Branch agencies, such as the governor’s office and the various cabinet level departments, excluding the judicial and legislative branches.

It found:

  • 23% of state employees are eligible to retire by June 30, 2027, which is significantly lower than the average number of 32.5% of eligible state employees who retire annually.
  • The rate of state employees retiring has remained steady over the past 16 years, even during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic from 2020-2022.
  • 12% of state agency employees are eligible for immediate retirement, while 23% can retire within the next five years.
  • The four largest agencies with the potential of 30% or more staff eligible to retire in the next five years include the departments of Health and Social Services; Transportation; Correction; and Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.
  • The Department of Safety and Homeland Security, one of the state’s larger agencies, has the lowest percentage of employees eligible to retire in the next five years at only 8%.
  • 28% of Delaware school teachers are eligible to retire within five years.

A press release about the report noted the state has already increased the average salary 12% for state workers in fiscal 2023 and 2024. State employees at the lower end of the pay scales have seen their salaries increase by as much as 18% over this two-year period, the report said.

The DHR also has implemented its own workforce initiatives, including:

  • Hiring incentives, including sign-on, referral and retention bonuses;
  • A comprehensive recruitment, marketing and social media hiring campaign;
  • Legislation to encourage delayed retirement;
  • Improved data analysis to support retention;
  • Creating a more uniform onboarding process; and
  • Providing flexible work schedules

To view the report, go here.

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