614 Take 3M Retirement Offer; Co. Expected 1,000

The manufacturing giant hasn't specified what, if any, other cost-cutting measures it will implement given that it didn't get its targeted number of volunteers.

Only 614 3M Company employees accepted an early retirement incentive offered in December-significantly fewer than the 1,000 volunteers that the Maplewood-based manufacturer had hoped for.

In bracing itself for a weaker economy in 2012, 3M offered incentive packages to about 4,900 employees, or roughly 15 percent of its work force. Workers had until January 31 to accept the offer, and those who took it retired on February 1.

In a Thursday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 3M disclosed the number of employees who accepted the incentive package. But the company didn't specify what, if any, other cost-cutting measures it will implement given that it missed its target by 386 employees-and a Friday morning phone call inquiring about such measures wasn't immediately returned.

3M did say in its regulatory filing that it expects to incur early retirement and restructuring costs of about 4 cents per share in the first quarter of 2012; approximately 3 cents per share, or $26 million, relates to termination benefits for the voluntary retirement incentive program in the United States, the company said.

According to the Star Tribune, 3M began implementing cost-cutting measures in the third quarter of last year. They included a hiring freeze and travel cutbacks.

The last time 3M offered a voluntary early retirement package was 2009; 700 people accepted the incentive offered at that time, resulting in a $21 million non-cash charge.

3M is Minnesota's fifth-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $29.6 billion in 2011. Its net income totaled $4.28 billion last year, up 4.8 percent from 2010.