ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Fewer public workers in Minnesota are opting for early retirement, due in part to the struggling economy and changes in rules that had previously given employees incentives to quit working in their late 50s.

Reports say that last year, about 60 percent of those who retired from Minnesota's public workforce waited until they were 62 or older.

Just seven years ago, only 40 percent of the new retirees were 62 or older.

The newspaper looked at data from Minnesota's three statewide public pension plans, and the figures do not include public safety workers.

This trend is expected to continue, due to legislative changes, rising health care costs, and other economic factors.