'Return to work' debate: Government r...

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

There are 47 comments on the The Santa Fe New Mexican story from Feb 2, 2009, titled 'Return to work' debate: Government retirees' 'double dipping' .... In it, The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that:

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.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Santa Fe New Mexican.

“Keeping an eye on you!”

Since: Oct 08

Santa Fe

#21 Feb 3, 2009
Mike wrote:
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!
And what kind of real job do you have Mike?

“Keeping an eye on you!”

Since: Oct 08

Santa Fe

#22 Feb 3, 2009
DocMo wrote:
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.
The wait time is 90 day's.
Route66

AOL

#23 Feb 3, 2009
As Ross Perot once said,'time to clean out the barn'! I'm a public retiree, and made that decision with no thought of ever returning to public employment without a 'penalty' or limit to annual salarys. People who are in public service solely for the money need to make room for dedicated, competent people to move up their career ladders.
John Sanchez

Cerrillos, NM

#24 Feb 3, 2009
Xenoace32 wrote:
<quoted text>
And what kind of real job do you have Mike?
Who cares what Mike does? The real issue here is the fact that by allowing the double-dippers to work for the government is another example of this administration's poor financial and HR management policies and also placing a strain on the state's general fund.

One other post mentioned that most state employees do not make a great deal of money and are not exempt. This is true, however, most of the double dippers, retired from manangement positions and now have re-appeared in the same capacity. This clogs the system and does not allow for up and coming professionals to work their way up to a management and decision making capacity. So now we have an environment where many management positions are being kept by former managers who are now drawing their pension from PERA and also a salary from the general fund and in many cases they are not even making a significant contribution to the system.
Beatrice

Santa Fe, NM

#25 Feb 3, 2009
The Idea of double dipping, public employees returning to work after retirement to collect both a salary and pension in this day and age is something that our leaders need to address as soon as possible. There is no time to wait on this issue. Remember this double dipping retirees do not contribute to the PERA fund. Not only do they not contribute to the PERA fund but they are not giving employees in state government who are trying to move up to higher positions an opportunity to do so. The idea that we have a lot of professions that we don’t have a workforce for is right down outrages, I am sure that if you look for talent in our college and universities there is plenty of youth who can fill this positions. What is going to happen when all this double dipping retirees died and New Mexico has not taken the steps to hire young people? We need to put polities aside and look out for employees who are contributing to the PERA fund and are trying to move up to higher positions and our youth, the future of tomorrow.
DocMo

Santa Fe, NM

#26 Feb 3, 2009
90 Days??!! that's all the wait for these retirees to go back and begin double-dipping?
That's nothing more than a little vacation! What a scam. Disgusting.
Tim

Santa Fe, NM

#27 Feb 3, 2009
Most of the ones coming back were incompetent when they were with the state originally.
John Sanchez

Cerrillos, NM

#28 Feb 3, 2009
Beatrice wrote:
The Idea of double dipping, public employees returning to work after retirement to collect both a salary and pension in this day and age is something that our leaders need to address as soon as possible. There is no time to wait on this issue. Remember this double dipping retirees do not contribute to the PERA fund. Not only do they not contribute to the PERA fund but they are not giving employees in state government who are trying to move up to higher positions an opportunity to do so. The idea that we have a lot of professions that we don’t have a workforce for is right down outrages, I am sure that if you look for talent in our college and universities there is plenty of youth who can fill this positions. What is going to happen when all this double dipping retirees died and New Mexico has not taken the steps to hire young people? We need to put polities aside and look out for employees who are contributing to the PERA fund and are trying to move up to higher positions and our youth, the future of tomorrow.
Well said. Thank you.

“Keeping an eye on you!”

Since: Oct 08

Santa Fe

#29 Feb 3, 2009
John Sanchez wrote:
<quoted text>
Who cares what Mike does? The real issue here is the fact that by allowing the double-dippers to work for the government is another example of this administration's poor financial and HR management policies and also placing a strain on the state's general fund.
One other post mentioned that most state employees do not make a great deal of money and are not exempt. This is true, however, most of the double dippers, retired from manangement positions and now have re-appeared in the same capacity. This clogs the system and does not allow for up and coming professionals to work their way up to a management and decision making capacity. So now we have an environment where many management positions are being kept by former managers who are now drawing their pension from PERA and also a salary from the general fund and in many cases they are not even making a significant contribution to the system.
I care!
hmmm

Rio Rancho, NM

#30 Feb 3, 2009
well the one that bugs me on this is lets say John Denko, who retired from the state, went to work for the city and is collecting a lot of Pera, probably close to 100K a year and is making well over that in his appointed position. or the director from i can't remember which agency, who was making like 130K a year, and retired, and came back 90 days later to the same position making 118K a year. he took a pay cut of 12K but because of his 80% of 130K on PERA is making over 200K a year!! He got his job back and it was implied that it was his because no one else had the capacity to manage that program.****?
Your

Santa Fe, NM

#31 Feb 3, 2009
hmmm wrote:
well the one that bugs me on this is lets say John Denko, who retired from the state, went to work for the city and is collecting a lot of Pera, probably close to 100K a year and is making well over that in his appointed position. or the director from i can't remember which agency, who was making like 130K a year, and retired, and came back 90 days later to the same position making 118K a year. he took a pay cut of 12K but because of his 80% of 130K on PERA is making over 200K a year!! He got his job back and it was implied that it was his because no one else had the capacity to manage that program.****?
point?
ATM

Farmington, NM

#32 Feb 3, 2009
The problem I have with double-dipping is the loss of creativity brought to the work force by newly hired employees. Retiring employees create upward mobility for mid-managers and all-the-way down to the new workers. By blocking this path, management is inbreeding its talent and preventing efficiency.
Retirees need to stay retired or start new interests and careers.
LSGarcia

Albuquerque, NM

#33 Feb 3, 2009
Puebloman wrote:
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!
Puebloman, I could tell you were raised up North by your comment. I am one who started working for the State of New Mexico at 19 and God willing, I will retire when I am 44 years old and that is in just a few years. I was also blessed enough and motivated enough to be able to obtain a degree while working. Contrary to your belief, I am not going to sit on my butt when I retire but rather I will return to school to get teaching credintials so that I can return to the work force as a teacher. Not all state employees are unethical or lazy or stupid. Most of us work very hard and we are proud of our jobs oh and I'm not chomping at the bit to have society pay my way, I contribute to a awesome retirement plan and last I checked you didn't contribute to my retirement so when I am retired I will pay my own way with no help from you.
DevilDog

Albuquerque, NM

#36 Feb 3, 2009
Eric Sanchez wrote:
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!
I recall Jeff Varela opposing double-dipping when he was Chairman and your Governor signed the bill! Jeff and Lucky have been staunch opponents of double-dipping from my recollection. Put down your crack pipe and get the truth. Sounds like you don't have a clue!!!
Verna Hutchinson

Borger, TX

#37 Feb 3, 2009
The two problems I see here are first that the "retirees", when they return to work, are not continuing to contribute to the retirement fund; and,second, the ones I know about retire from a position and then are rehired to that same position they just vacated; thus the cost for the maintenance of that position costs the annual salary plus the 75% of the annual salary paid for their retirement (if they have 25 years of service).

As a retired federal employee, if I had the experience and education for a category that they were unable to find someone who could do the work and went back as a "rehired annuitant", my retirement pay would be DEDUCTED from the salary scale and I would receive the "difference" for the job that I was filling.

Not all of the state employees that I am familiar with had special talents. Some were clerical employees - and I know some are required to do much more difficult work and have more knowledge than what is needed for some positions, but I think our "poor" state needs to seriously re-evaluate this policy.
Horseman

Albuquerque, NM

#38 Feb 4, 2009
Well, guess what!! Federal government, armed forces and private sector retirees take state and local government jobs too! Is the legislature going to single out PERA retirees! You can't treat one group differently than another - it spells lawsuits!! And, there are a lot of smart and involved retirees who vote...
CHRISTINA VARELA

Albuquerque, NM

#39 Feb 4, 2009
DevilDog wrote:
<quoted text>
I recall Jeff Varela opposing double-dipping when he was Chairman and your Governor signed the bill! Jeff and Lucky have been staunch opponents of double-dipping from my recollection. Put down your crack pipe and get the truth. Sounds like you don't have a clue!!!
You are very right people that don't know the truth about stuff should just keep their mouth shut! This jelousy needs to stop!

“Keeping an eye on you!”

Since: Oct 08

Santa Fe

#40 Feb 4, 2009
Actuarial Determination:

PERAs actuary reviewed data on the impact of retirees returning to work and receiving both a pension and a salary. The actuarial study determined that payment of the combined employee and employer contribution rates would cover the full actuarial cost of retirees returning to work. These are the rates that would be paid by any regular PERA member and the employer of a PERA affiliate.

From the PERA web site.
double dipper

Albuquerque, NM

#41 Feb 4, 2009
As a Double Dipper I would gladly contribute to PERA, if I were able to draw from it upon becoming eligible. When I accepted the position I now have I paid into PERA without complaint for quite a while. Even after facing the prospect of not benefiting from my contribution. I did not make the rule that stopped my contribution, someone in the Roundhouse did. But, how does my position differ from the retiree from another place like LANL or Army Corp or anywhere else who "double dips" for the state, becomes vested and is drawing from PERA? This whole thing was not well thought out. Face it, most of us double dippers are historically great, not good, workers who were wooed back by knowing supervisors who appreciate our work ethic and knowledge of our jobs. Qualities that are saddly forgotten in todays work force.
Veterano del Estado

Santa Fe, NM

#42 Feb 4, 2009
There is no additional cost to PERA by hiring double dippers: They will never be entitled to an additional penny to their pension, they are only entitiled to what they have already earned; Agencies continue to contribute to PERA and the double dipper is ineligible to collect on it, thus the fund will grow.

Nationwide there is a shortage of qualified candidates for technical positions. The double dippers I know are in technical fields, not management and are not politically conected.

Keep in mind that most positions in state government do not pay in the six figures. Most retirees need to continue working and the main indusdtry in northern NM is government.

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