Saturday, April 20, 2013

Star's Revealing Story On Pension Double-Dippers

The Star's John Tuoy has a good investigative story about the common practice of public employees retiring at an early age, start drawing a pension funded by the taxpayers and then going back to work for the same public agency from which they just retired, allowing them to bring home large six-figure salaries, a practice known as double-dipping.
[Eva] Talley Sanders left IMPD and retired from the sheriff’s department in 2008.
Her retirement didn’t last long.
Within three weeks, she was hired by then-Sheriff Frank Anderson as a deputy chief and still holds that position under Sheriff John Layton.
She collects an annual salary of $106,279 while drawing a pension of $47,082 a year.
Talley Sanders is not alone; 54 Marion County sheriff’s employees are drawing pensions in addition to full-time salaries. The officials range in rank from Layton, who earns $132,345 and collects an annual pension of $78,440, to deputies making $32,000 a year.
Often called double dipping, the practice of retiring with a pension from one job while working in another public sector job is commonplace and permissible at all levels of government in Indiana.
At least 190 lawmakers are collecting pensions while holding office. Former Gov. Mitch Daniels is eligible to collect a governor’s pension while president of Purdue University. School bus drivers, judges and forest rangers who retire and return to government work all can be considered double-dippers.

Though legal, some watchdog groups claim double dipping is an unsavory ransacking of state pensions when governments are trying to repair broken budgets. Critics say it might also encourage cronyism — the hiring of long-time friends — over eager, lower paid young workers . . .

[Sheriff John] Layton retired as a colonel after 32 years in 2006 and now earns more than $210,000 in salary and pension combined. He’s getting the maximum retirement pay-out — 74 percent of his top three earning years . . . 
The Marion County Sheriff's Office has 42 current employees who are double dippers. The Star has a list of those employees here. Tuoy's story discusses a bill passed by the legislature (SB 526) this legislative session that is awaiting action by Gov. Pence, which prohibits public employees from collecting a second pension from the jobs they take in government following their initial retirement, but it doesn't prohibit their initial rehiring following their retirement from government service.

1 comment:

CircleCityScribe said...

...look one step farther and you just may find out that Eva Talley is actually collecting a pension from the Marion County Sheriff pension fund while serving as Chief Deputy (crony) at a 6-figure salary.