DuPage County Forest Preserve commissioners unanimously approved an early retirement program Tuesday.
The program will take effect Aug. 31 and offer early retirement packages to about 65 eligible employees who are 50 and older and have at least 20 years of service credit with the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.
Officials estimate the district eventually could reduce its annual operating costs by about $1 million if just 26 employees retire early.
The district likely will have to pay between $4 million and $5 million to get that many employees to participate in the early retirement program, officials said. They said it will take about four to five years to recoup the cost.
To retire early, employees also will have pay an amount set by the IMRF.
"This board has directed the executive director (Arnie Biondo) to revamp and reexamine the total operation of the forest preserve district and that includes the employees," commission President D. "Dewey" Pierotti said Tuesday. "I think this is just one of the many tools that's going to be available for Arnie to go forward and do what he's been directed to."