MoFo Surprised at Number of Staffers Retiring Early to Preserve Health Subsidies
Posted Feb 1, 2010 11:20 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Morrison & Foerster told a group of longtime staffers that they had a choice: They could retire before Jan. 31 and receive subsidized health care premiums, or they could wait—and give up the subsidy.
The response surprised the law firm. About half the group opted for early retirement, the law firm says in a statement. Above the Law says about 50 people in all are leaving. Morrison & Foerster spokeswoman Eileen King later confirmed the number was approximately 50, and said none of those retiring early are lawyers.
The firm's statement said it had “significantly” subsidized premiums for retiree health care in the past, but it was ending the payments after Jan. 31 because of rising costs. Anyone in a group of longtime staffers who retired before that date, however, could still get the subsidy.
“Due to rising health care costs we determined that to be able to continue to offer retiree health care to our employees we needed to eliminate the premium subsidy for future retirees,” the statement said. “Approximately half of the eligible retirees took advantage of the retirement opportunity, more than we anticipated.”
Updated at 5:20 p.m. to add the law firm's confirmation that about 50 staffers are taking early retirement.