Concerns have been raised over the number of Powys County Council staff who took early retirement last year.
The figures were brought up for discussion at a meeting of the council’s Governance and Audit committee on Friday, November 24 as they were presented with the 2022/2023 council’s Pension Fund accounts.
The document provides data on staff who have left the workplace and are now classed as “new pensioners.”
During 2022/2023 a total of 230 members of staff retired.
Five were on the grounds of ill health, 49 were “normal” retirements and 176 people took early retirement.
Cllr Pete Lewington (Conservative) said: “Just a quick observation around the number of early retirements in view of the difficulties we have of attracting people to the work force.
“I wondered if that was due to any particular reasons.”
Head of finance Jane Thomas: “It is everybody’s choice to retire when they wish to.
“I think after COVID-19 we saw more people re-considering their lives and work/life balance.
“We did see a rise in that period, and this year (2022/2023) is not long after.
“It will be worth keeping an eye on what happens over the next few years.
“It is a trend we’ve seen elsewhere as well.”
Audit Wales had given the accounts a clean bill of health and intend issuing an unqualified audit opinion.
The committee approved the accounts which will be formally signed by the committee chairwoman and lay member Lynne Hamilton and head of finance Jane Thomas.
At a UK political level, the number of “economically inactive” people of working age has been seen as an issue that impacts economic growth.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt has been looking to coax middle-aged retirees back into work.