Ever-diminishing benefits causing rash of retirements

Many state and local governments are seeing a “flood of retirements,” due in part to a fear that retirement benefits will continue to diminish, according to this story in The New York Times.

The star of the Times story is Wisconsin. But Minnesota, Colorado and New Jersey are identified as three states that have both increased employee pension contributions and reduced the automatic cost-of-living adjustment on benefits.

Dave Bergstrom, who runs the Minnesota State Retirement System, told us that Minnesota is seeing a big increase in new state employee retirements. Bergstrom said 3,250 retirees were added to the rolls between Dec. 1, 2010 and Nov. 30, 2011 — about 1,000 more than retired during the same period last year.

But Bergstrom attributes that increase to early retirement incentives and the fact that baby boomers are reaching retirement age — not to the changes in benefits.

If you’re a state employee, we’d like to hear what you’re seeing. Are people retiring in your department? Are you considering it yourself? Why? Share your experiences here or in the comments.