'Return to work' debate: Government retirees' 'double dipping' ...

Politicians and union leaders alike are taking aim at the controversial practice of "double-dipping" a ' public employees returning to work after retirement to collect both a salary and pension. Full Story
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Eideard

Santa Fe, NM

#1 Feb 3, 2009
Leave it to N to have figured how to raise cronyism to a new level.
Sawthewritingont hewall

Bloomington, IN

#2 Feb 3, 2009
Many retiree's are needed to come back to work because no competent replacements can be found. People coming out of college are paper smart and have degrees but cannot perform the work. This is a hiring issue in many industries, not just the government. Kid's come out of college expecting expense accounts,cars and bennies but can't perform the basic tasks required.

Just remember - Rectal thermometers have degrees on them too.
Eric Sanchez

Santa Fe, NM

#3 Feb 3, 2009
This is very interesting to read that Lucky Varela is sponsoring this bill, hmmm if I remember corretly it was his son Jeff who was a member of the PERA Board and now has his wife sitting in his old seat that got this movida through the legislature about 7 years ago and when the rank and file employees would complain to Jeff he would just ignore them but now that the boat is sinking over at the PERA his got to jump off hope he forgets his life preserver!
DocMo

Santa Fe, NM

#4 Feb 3, 2009
Why not make a 'rule' that after 25 years of service (whatever the age of the retiree happens to be at that time), said Govt retiree must wait a longer requisite length of time, say 5 years... before applying for a PERA position again. Hard to keep a spot open for a political crony for that long!

And, SFNM...why did you not state in this article what the wait-time IS currently for returning PERA's. This is a major piece of the whole story left out, if you ask me.
jose publicio

Colorado Springs, CO

#5 Feb 3, 2009
You must also remember that there are very few jobs for qualified persons in the state. The only industry with any real numbe rof jobs in the state is the State govt. After putting in 25 years, even with a college degree leaves a person many years short of the age to draw federal retirement benefits.

Since: Sep 08

Santa Fe

#6 Feb 3, 2009
Once again proving that corruption is systemic,and all pervasive in this rotted society.
antiquelt

Farmington, NM

#7 Feb 3, 2009
They need to end double dipping. In education you don't need all retirees returing to be administrators or teachers, what you do need is to increase the entry level salaries and bring fresh blood and new ideas to public education.
John

Flitton, UK

#8 Feb 3, 2009
Would people retire after 25 years if they were not allowed to rejoin and get a further salary? Again 75% of salary as a pension is extremely generous particularly if you only have to work for 25 years. I can see that people would pay to get such jobs.
Bernice Garduno

Santa Fe, NM

#9 Feb 3, 2009
We need Administration Supervisors who are willing to cross train employees in lower positions to qualifiy them to move up in their position and in return bring in young blood in to State Groverment Job, so we don't have our young telent leaving the state. As a state employee I'm willing to to train in return for more training to move up in my position, with no more pay then I get now. Thanks for allowing me as a State Employee to Comment.
Carol MIller

Aztec, NM

#10 Feb 3, 2009
What happened to the idea of volunteerism and public service after a person retires and gets a public-funded pension? Our communities need talented volunteers to share the skills and expertise gained at public expense with the many struggling organizations that serve the people.
For one example, acequias and land grants are now units of government. While this is a good thing, many of us find all the new rules and regulations stretching community resources. As an acequia commissioner, I believe that technical assistance and support from government retirees would be a tremendous help.
Puebloman

Rio Rancho, NM

#11 Feb 3, 2009
I have been working since I was 18 years old. The 25 year 'rule' would mean I could have retired at age 43 and the state would have to support me in that decision. What a crock! I own my own business and I honestly can say that don't ever intend to retire. I am 50 years old now. Work gives meaning and pleasure to my life. My customers also gain from my labor. I'm not chomping at the bit to have society pay my way because I want to sit on my a** for the rest of my life. I was raised in a small village in the north and my family instilled these values of hard work and good service. I don't know what happened to change it but the work ethic around here sucks and we all pay the price for it!
John Sanchez

Santa Fe, NM

#12 Feb 3, 2009
Sawthewritingonthewall wrote:
Many retiree's are needed to come back to work because no competent replacements can be found. People coming out of college are paper smart and have degrees but cannot perform the work. This is a hiring issue in many industries, not just the government. Kid's come out of college expecting expense accounts,cars and bennies but can't perform the basic tasks required.
Just remember - Rectal thermometers have degrees on them too.
I totally disagree with you. There are plenty of competent professionals who are more than capable of fullfilling the responsibilities that the "double-dippers" have consumed. If you really understood and knew the structure of government you would see that most of the "double-dippers" are in manangement areas, classified and serving at the bequest of the Governor and his hacks. This has been a systems that has been cultivated by the current administration to pay back favors and push many of their ludicrious programs and agendas. There are numerous government employees who have work experience and education, however, since they do not bow down to Billy and his hacks, they have been left behind and their career ladder tossed in the nearest recycle bin. I know for a fact than many of these double-dippers are not that capable and in fact are adding to the current budget woes the state is experiencing.
NM Concern

Santa Fe, NM

#13 Feb 3, 2009
Supervisors should train and cross-train their employees instead of worring about job security. This is where the issue at hand starts. If the agencys or governments dont beleive people are qualified because the employee is or has not been fully trained on the position, then who's fault is that for not cross-training and beleiving in the employee?
cactus jim

Albuquerque, NM

#14 Feb 3, 2009
Carol MIller wrote:
What happened to the idea of volunteerism and public service after a person retires and gets a public-funded pension? Our communities need talented volunteers to share the skills and expertise gained at public expense with the many struggling organizations that serve the people.
For one example, acequias and land grants are now units of government. While this is a good thing, many of us find all the new rules and regulations stretching community resources. As an acequia commissioner, I believe that technical assistance and support from government retirees would be a tremendous help.
golly gee i didn't know pensions were public funded. and all these years since i was 18[45 years ago] i am now told my deductions for retirement were just another tax. total up all my contributions,employer contributions and and 45 years of compounded interest on those deductions from my paycheckand give me a lump sum payout!
CMS Teach

Clovis, NM

#15 Feb 3, 2009
The whole hoopla over these retirements is a ploy to deflect attention on how these funds were mismanaged. This is pure fingerpointing at the very people who were supposed to be taken care of by these funds. If you retire having earned a benefit and return to work, the employer still has to pay into this fund on your behalf; 11.65% of what you earn to be exact. You earn no additional benefit, but the fund is still getting subsidized because you work for a district covered by that retirement plan. Educational Retirement Fund's actuaries determined that the Return to Work program has no effect on the solvency of the fund. Why would it? It's actually a benefit to the fund to have additional contributions paid in while there's no additional service credit earned or expectation that someone would eventually receive this money paid in on their behalf. Therefore, hiring retirees actually buoys the fund. And the schools get experience and teachers who want to be there. Smoke and mirrors.
Sawthewritingont hewall

Bloomington, IN

#16 Feb 3, 2009
John Sanchez-

Thank you for your insight. A very valid assertion.

Perhaps I was too sweeping in my own assessment. I can only really speak from my own experiences and your point is very valid.

I will agree that the system is flawed and needs to be freed from a corrupt Governor and rampant cronyisim.
Santa Fe Driver

Albuquerque, NM

#17 Feb 3, 2009
Try to remember that most of the state employees are not making a lot of money and are not exempt.
The salaries for state jobs are not that well paying for the most part and I am not surprised that many would return to work after retiring-expecially in Santa Fe given the outrageouse cost of living.
Mike

Santa Fe, NM

#18 Feb 3, 2009
PERA employees weren't allowed to go back to work for PERA jobs after retirement until the last 5-6 years. Thanks again to governor Bill. That only further killed the career ladder for already underpaid state employees on the low to moderate pay scale jobs. I left the state myself 10 years ago for another public entity because I had already hit the promotional ceiling. I can only imagine how much much worse it is now with all the retirees settling right back in their old positions! After enjoying a 25 year retirement; let them find a real job I say!
HarveyDent

Santa Fe, NM

#19 Feb 3, 2009
I think it is really unfair that these people can come back to work earning more hourly than they did before and they are still able to recieve their retirement pension.The governor wants to cut spending there is one way to cut spending get rid of the people who are double dipping. also wants to help with the budget why doesnt he get rid of the governor appointed friends of his. He hires them just becuause they are friends or contribute to his campaign.then he would save the state thousands maybe even millions. i think the governor should stop worrying about his friends and think about the real people who do the work for his departments and get rid of double dippers and his appointed friend.
taxpayer

Santa Fe, NM

#20 Feb 3, 2009
Are these people that self-centered to think the city, state, or county couldn't make it without them. What a Joke. I say leave the jobs open for those working their way up the ladder, and those looking for entry level jobs, and quit clogging the system.

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