The state does not intend to replace many of the 2,628 state employees who have retired since the beginning of this year, Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes announced Tuesday.

“While the work they did was no doubt important, we have no intention of refilling a lot of these positions, and we’ll look to agency heads to figure out new and innovative ways to do more with less,” Barnes said in a statement.

State workers have been retiring more rapidly than expected this year. At this time last year only 957 had retired, Barnes said.

The wave of retirements is likely driven by concessions in the labor deal that made changes to the retirement benefits of state employees. The changes reduce their cost of living increases and increase the penalty for retiring early.

Some of the vacancies will have need to be replaced and will likely be filled in the short term by retirees on temporary contracts, Barnes said last week. However, the savings generated by the workers who will not be replaced will give the governor’s administration breathing room to make changes to state government, he said. He anticipated they would be able to leave more than 1,000 positions vacant.

“These retirements have given us additional flexibility in our workforce, as we seek to streamline and flatten management and shrink the size of state government in Connecticut,” he said.