No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Double-dipping, Texas-style

by @ 0:28 on December 17, 2011. Filed under 2012 Presidential Contest.

(H/T – Allahpundit)

If you’re in Wisconsin, unless you’ve been in a cave the last several months, you’ve heard of the practice of double-dipping, as various state and local employees “retired” and then returned to state/local employment, sometimes to their old jobs in a pre-planned move a month later, collecting both the salary of the job and the pension. Indeed, the situation has become so far out of control that Rep. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) introduced a bill to limit the practice among those who “retire” and subsequently come back to work at least half-time at a position.

According to the Texas Tribune, Texas governor, and candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination, Rick Perry one-upped that back in January. After an official with the Texas Employee Retirement System contacted him to tell him that he was eligible to do the career politican version of the double-dip, telling him that he “would be rather foolosh to not access what (he had) earned”, Perry did so, adding a gross pension payment of $7,698 per month to his $11,083 per month salary as governor.

The pension is being paid out as though Perry was a member of the “employee class”, despite Perry being an elected official for the entirety of his service to the state of Texas and continuing to serve as governor with no “sit-out” period. How? Let’s walk through it:

  • Generally, elected state office-holders can choose to participate in the Texas ERS on the “elected class” track. That gives, upon departure from office (and only as long as one isn’t in a state elected office), a pension equal to the number of years of service (including military service) times 2% of the district judge salary (currently $208.33 1/3 per month), not to exceed 100% of the district judge salary ($10,416.66 per month).
  • Non-elected state office-holders and employees automatically participate in the Texas ERS on the “employee class” track. One can qualify for a pension with no reduction if one is at least 60 years old and one’s age and length of service (including military service) equals or exceeds 80 years. For those who entered the “employee class” track after August 2009, that is the average of the 48 months of highest salary (it used to be 36) times 2.3% times the number of years of service.
  • Elected officials can transfer the entirety of their service (including military service) to the “employee class” track. Since the two tracks are “separate”, one can “retire” as an “employee”, collect a pension as a “retiree”, and still remain in elected office.

While Perry may not have been responsible for the abusive system, he is responsible for fully-participating in the abusive system.

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