An announcement Friday from St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation says that the company is offering certain employees an opportunity to retire early. Ameren is an electric and natural gas utility provider for many residents of the St. Louis region.
The move comes as a cost management measure during what the company calls a "challenging economic period."
According to Ameren, here are the requirements for employees to be eligible for the offer:
- Age 58 or over as of Dec. 31, 2011
- Full-time, regular employees.
- Management and employees, who are represented by unions that have agreed to participate, are eligible.
- The offer is not available to officers and certain management employees in key business areas due to operational needs.
With those requirements, Ameren says that about 715 of approximately 5,700 Ameren Missouri and Ameren Services employees are eligible.
"Clearly, we will not make staffing reductions that affect our ability to continue to provide save and reliable service," Thomas Voss, chairman, president and CEO of Ameren said in a statement. "However, this program is part of our our continued efforts to create an organization that can operate effectively in an environment where demand for energy has softened, costs are rising and our reimbursement for those costs in rates continues to lag."
And what are the terms of the voluntary separation option? According to Ameren:
- A lump sum payment of two eek's pay for each full year of service with a minimum of 13 weeks and a maximum of 52 weeks of pay.
- Eligible employees will have until Dec. 22, 2011 to decide whether to accept the offer.
- Those who accept are expected to leave the company by year-end 2011.