CINCINNATI -- For the first time in its 158-year history, Fifth Third Bank offered early retirement to some of its employees earlier this year.
Fifth Third announced the voluntary program to its employees Jan. 4, according to a statement from Larry Magnesen, senior vice president of communications. About 775 across the company's 18,500 employees were eligible, Magnesen said.
Employees had to meet age requirements and years of service to the company.
Typically, companies see about 15 percent accept the offer. Magnesen declined to share how many employees accepted, but said the results were about what Fifth Third officials expected.
"The program was about reducing costs, not people per se," Magnesen said in the statement. "Clearly there is a link, but the focus is cost containment."
Fifth Third is still hiring and has about 1,000 positions open, he said. It is Cincinnati's largest bank and one of the region's largest employers, with about 7,000 local employees.