Saturday, September 15, 2012

So You Think Government Retirees are Overpaid?

I spoke with many firefighters yesterday while I was at the funeral home for our departed Fire Chief.  Many of the men I have gotten to know over the years are, like me, retired. 
 
We talked about how we occupy our time in retirement and none of us seem to be lacking for things to do.  Seems like we all still have 'to do' lists.  Some are looking forward to the day they too will retire.
 
One officer thanked me for signing his paycheck all the years I was there at the Township.  That was a first.
 
Another officer said he found some part-time work since our Governor and legislature decided that the State would start taxing our pensions.  I told him that if he divorced his wife and married someone born before 1946, he would not be subject to the tax.  He was unaware of that provision and liked it no more than I do.
 
This morning I read my monthly newsletter on pension issues.  The title was:  U.S. Census Bureau Publishes 2011 Annual Survey of State-Administered Defined Benefit Retirement Systems
 
Our pension system in West Bloomfield is managed locally, but other states do run systems for local units.  I found this interesting fact while reading the summary of the article:
 
The average annual benefit payment was $24,137 in 2011.

So, all of you people, i.e. legislators, who keep going on and on about how overpaid our public servants are in retirement, please tell me what your retirement benefits are.  Seems to me I recall reading that a former Governor makes over $300,000 in retirement benefits.  And the press seems to love publishing lists of the highest paid retirees, while ignoring the fact that the majority make no where near that much.

The summary report is available here.

1 comment:

  1. You've touched a nerve. I've worked in government for almost 25 years and am debating retiring. Many people tell me how lucky I am for my pension. I am not lucky, I am fortunate. Luck is winning the lottery, good fortune is having the opportunity to have a job that offers a pension. Big difference. I have been fortunate to devote almost 25 years to the people of New York City. Years without raises, including the last four and years of working through hurricanes, snowstorms and the ashes of September 11. No complaints, but I will not be overpaid in my retirement.

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