Posted by: jhamon | August 2, 2009

The Dirty Not-So-Little Secret About Government

Happy New Year

Government Pension Story Therapy

Government pensions are absolutely out of control.  With longevity on the rise, it is a formula for disaster.  This piece, from the Contra Costa Times, may require a sidecar of pink liquid:

By Daniel Borenstein – Staff columnist

NEW DATA RELEASED under court order reveal a shocking pattern of pension spiking by top officials of the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District that should alarm residents and prompt taxpayers across California to ask whether public employees in their communities are similarly benefiting from broken retirement systems.

The numbers show that two fire chiefs, a deputy chief and an assistant chief who all retired in the past seven years are now each bringing home annual pensions of roughly a quarter-million dollars or more. The pensions far exceed the base salaries the officials were earning during the final year of their employment. Specifically:

  • Chief Richard Probert, who retired in 2002, currently collects a pension of $249,374 a year. His final year base salary was $196,264.
  • Deputy Chief Christopher Suter, who retired in 2006, currently collects $260,980 a year. His final year base salary was $174,475.
  • Assistant Fire Chief Michael Sylvia, who retired in 2006, currently collects $245,502 a year. His final year base salary was $166,173.
  • And, as I’ve previously reported, Chief Craig Bowen, who retired in 2008, currently collects $283,958 a year. His final year base salary was $222,507.

… By increasing their final year pay and adding in unused sick leave to raise their years of service, the officials were able to further boost, or “spike,” their pensions by 24 percent to 49 percent.

HEY, AMERICA, WAKE UP!  If you seriously want to seen an end to children in classrooms without crayons and closed public health clinics, you’re going to have to tune into this pension problem and deal with it.  It is completely and totally out of control, and it’s already bankrupting your kids’ future.

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