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Power company dealing with massive retirements

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- A utility company in western North Dakota is dealing with massive retirements thanks mostly to a lucrative pension plan.

Basin Electric Power Cooperative is trying is to replace 259 employees it has lost to retirement in the last two years, including 179 who left in 2013.

Company communications manager Mary Miller says the average age of the retirees has been 59 and they have had an average of 29.5 years of service.

Basin's pension plan is based on salary, years of service and interest rates. Employees can get their pension through monthly payments or a lump sum. When interest rates are lower, that lump sum is higher and many retirees are taking advantage before rates rise again.