Trustmark in Jackson, Miss., reduced its workforce by more than 6% by offering early retirement packages.

The $12.8 billion-asset company disclosed in a regulatory filing Wednesday that 188 employees accepted a package offered to associates who were at least 60 years old and had at least five years of service. The retirements must take place by the end of this month.

Trustmark said it will record a $9 million pretax charge in the current quarter to cover the costs of the program.

The company, however, said the initiative will lower salary and employee benefits expense in the second half of this year by $4.2 million. Going forward, the retirements will lower annual costs by about $8.5 million.

"This voluntary early retirement program represents another proactive measure in the management of Trustmark's expense base," the filing said. "This initiative provides organizational efficiencies resulting from investments in technology and realignment of work processes as well as advancement opportunities for associates."

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