Clocking out for good
By April Baumgarten
Retirements for one coal company have more than doubled in the last year, but officials believe they have reached their peak.
Basin Electric Power Cooperative said goodbye to 179 employees last year, almost 100 more than the 83 in 2012. It is the highest count of retirees since the Bismarck-based company began in 1961.
The spike in retirements does not come as a surprise, Basin Electric spokesman Curt Pearson said. Many employees are baby boomers from the 1950s. The retirement age for the cooperative is 62 and workers see it as a time to call a quits.
“Human Resources looks at this all the time,” he said. “They take a look at the future. They look at the age of the employees. They do their best estimate of how many people will retire at the normal retirement age of Basin Electric.”
The construction of plants also plays a factor. Leland Olds Station east of Stanton opened for operation in 1966 while Antelope Valley Station near Beulah turned on Unit 1 in 1984.