STAFFORD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — One southern New Jersey town has had to pay out nearly $723,000 to 14 employees who decided to retire.

Most of the money went to Stafford Township police officers who decided to end their careers.

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The figures represent unused sick, vacation and compensatory time accumulated during an employee’s tenure.

Township officials told the Asbury Park Press $126,000 is tied to an incentive that allowed workers who retired before the end of the year to receive their 2011 allotment of sick and vacation time.

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Matthew Weng of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities says proposed changes to the cap unused sick and vacation time might be driving public employees to consider retirement.

The state says at least 16,400 public employees have retired as of Sept. 1.

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