State senator tries again to crack down on “double-dipping”

December 28, 2010

The California State Senate will once again try to crack down on so-called “double-dipping” by public employees after an earlier attempt was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. [San Jose Mercury News]

Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) intends to introduce new legislation early next month in response to a public outcry over the perceived abuses of the state-funded pension systems.

Simitian’s bill would require “retirees” who are drawing a pension to wait six months before returning to work for the same organization. The senator introduced a similar bill in the 2009-10 session that passed both houses of the Legislature. His bill was ultimately vetoed by  Schwarzenegger after being linked with a more controversial pension-reform bill the governor said did not go far enough to overhaul the system.

The public debate was recently sparked anew by reports that the Santa Clara County fire chief, Kenneth Waldvogel, 57, was retiring at the end of December–only to come back in January, taking home his $236,691 annual salary as a consultant, along with a $200,000 yearly state pension.

Waldvogel informed county officials of his plans six weeks ago. Rather than immediately  promote from within, the county will conduct a job search, keeping Waldvogel in his consulting position for up to six months.

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If Governor Brown was really “sincere” about the budget, he would address the “Retired Annuitants” and “consultants” who continue to milk the system after they retire by “double dipping” aka doubling their income while keeping a job that should go to a person who faces layoff or does not have one…and they would start at a much lower entry level salary. This has been a golden goose to abusers for years and…you can’t hold them accountable or fire them because technically they are “retired”. They make great political “heat shields” for administrators who want to use taxpayer’s money to reward their “friends”, since there are no consequences for their (the annuitant’s) performance. Every agency statewide is abusing this “practice” and there would be no reason for layoffs if they discontinued it. When a state/ county employee retires, they have a very good retirement and pure greed is the only reason for clinging on to their job after retiring. I have seen people retire and are taking home over $5,000.00 + per month in retirement, plus clearing over $6,000.00+ per month as a retired annuitant (more than they made before because they are no longer contributing to the PERS retirement system). They claim that “no one is qualified” to hire into their position (even though there is a hiring list of available candidates) so they have to continue working. They should have trained someone months before they retired, then the new employee would be paid at a much lower scale and save taxpayers millions. I have seen this practice at the Youth Authority, CDC, EDD, Parole…many of these “so called jobs” were “made up” positions which could have been filled by existing employees. All of these people are paid very well, but actually “plan” to retire so they can come back as annuitants and continue tying up a job. The icing on the cake… When El Paso de Robles Youth Correctional Facility closed in August 2008, several of the “double dippers” filed for , and received unemployment because they didn’t exhaust all the hours that they were allowed to work (per CalPERS).

What about our Fire Chief? Isn’t his family trying to tap us for outrageous benefits after his death? And supposedly quietly passed by officials because he was a ‘nice guy’. Nuts.

Yeah and isn’t Jan Marks the new mayor leading the charge to get his family another 90,000 a year because he was a nice guy the 4 years he worked here. Jan way to be the custodian of the publics money. Welfare checks for all state and local employees. Not a problem, let the civilians fund it thru taxes. After all we get our monies worth. LOL

Her name is Marx. And I haven’t heard what you said, I thought it was an administrative thing. But of

course we are left in the dark; if not for this site we would have no info on these things. I hope CCN will do a follow up on that local travesty.

I know several people that have retired from the state/local gov’t and then go back to work the NEXT DAY at the same pay. I think this is a great idea as it will help the unemployment if these retirees take their nice pensions and retire so other people can move up making room for new employees at the bottom get a job. Bill Statler at the City retired in Dec 09 with a fat pension and a $10,000 incentive to retire plus paid health insurance for life (a benefits for City management) and then came back on Jan 1 at $100.00 an hour until May 10. Nice deal! Now they have another retiree from up North (drawing her pension) and working for the City at $100.00 an hour. These gov’t employees have a racket going.

This doesnt do much. State employees should not be allowed to collect pensions from the state until they are 65…just like SS.

Your comment doesn’t make much sense since many people collect Social Security at age 62.

It makes perfect sense. Yes you can collect at 62 but at about 75-80% of what you would get waiting to collect at 65. Oh and once you start collecting you have set the amount. Also it is going to 67 soon. I am in my late forties and if ss is still there when I get to retirement, it is going to be 67.

I have a question to the neg. posters. This isn’t an opinion I am stating but just facts provide by the gov. What is it that you don’t like about the Gov’t s(not my doing) plan?? Not saying that there isn’t things to dislike but that hitting neg on something like this is just plane screwy!!!

You hope.

That’s why I said IF. :-)

Also same reason why I have set up my own 401k’s, IRA’s etc. DON’T EVER RELIE ON THE GOV.T for anything.

State retirement pretty much works the same way. Full retirement for most non-safety employees is at 63. If they retire at the minimum age of 50, they get 45% of what they would get at 63 with the same years of service and income.

Recent employees will receive lower retirement benefits.