Four leaders are standing down ahead of the June elections, although not all their councils have signed up for the scheme.
Sir Harry Jones (Lab), leader of the Welsh Local Government Association and Newport City Council, heads the exodus of high-profile names. He has taken up a 'golden goodbye' after 31 years.
WLGA chief executive Sandy Blair paid tribute to Sir Harry, who is tipped to be on his way to the Lords, describing him as a 'remarkable and dedicated servant' for Newport and Welsh local government.
Further departures are expected as a result of the Welsh Assembly's scheme of severance payments, to which eight of Wales' 22 councils have signed up.
The assembly was unable to give figures for the take-up across Wales as councils do not have to supply figures until they seek reimbursement after the local elections.
But in Newport, 13 out of 23 eligible councillors took the payment.