In Connecticut, state employees retire – get rehired

It’s bad enough the public perception of state employees is that they have easy gigs with great benefits, but now – even after Gov. M. Jodi Rell (R-Conn.) said she would investigate and halt double-dipping – we find more than 500 employees who retired in June are back on the payroll.

If the state legislature and governor in Connecticut think the TEA Party movement is exclusively aimed at Congress and the White House, they are wrong. Private company executives – with owners and/or shareholders to account to – would not last long if they pulled these type of moves.

Look, if you need the employees, keep them on the damn payroll. Don’t make a big splash about a retirement program that will save millions and then hire the employees back after a two week vacation.

Let me make this perfectly clear, 500 employees retired from the state’s employ in June. They are collecting their retirement pension that equates to about $1.8 million per month. Within weeks they are brought back as “temporary” employees – most likely at the same cubicle – double-dipping and collecting an additional $1.2 million per month.

Some will argue that just because someone has retired, it does not mean they should not be able to work. I understand that, but what is extremely frustrating here is the “gaming” of the system, the politics involved and the fact these are government employees.

I’m not sure how frequently this happens in the private sector, but generally when an employee retires and goes back to work, they work for another company. This just does not sit well with me.

From John Lender at the Hartford Courant.

More than 500 of the 3,856 state workers who retired in June and July as part of a special state program to cut costs are still collecting regular twice-monthly paychecks even as they receive pension payments amounting to millions of dollars each month, records obtained by The Courant show. …

There is some confusion – what’s new – concerning the list of employees who may still be working at the state, but two examples in records include …

The comptroller’s list shows some prominent names. Deputy Treasurer Howard Rifkin, who retired July 1, receives a $10,100 monthly pension payment and was paid $3,772 on the regular Sept. 11 twice-monthly payroll. Jeffrey Garfield, executive director of the State Elections Enforcement Commission, who retired in July, receives a $7,700 monthly pension payment and was paid $4,341 on the Sept. 11 [bi-weekly] payroll.

For Garfield, this means the state paid out (salary plus pension) almost $7,900 for a two week period. That averages to more than $200,000 per year. Granted, Garfield will not be working for the full year, but many of these “temporary” appointments last four months. More from Lender’s piece, with my emphasis added.

The Courant reported early this year that many of these 120-day retirees return routinely, year after year, in a manner not originally intended for the program, which was designed to provide workers to fill in until a replacement or some other solution could be found.

For those of you who complain about the corporate golden parachute, what say you about the state’s standard operating procedure when it comes to retired employees?

Please do head over to the Courant’s Web site to read the full article.

1 reply
  1. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    Double dipping by state emplyoees is an affront to those who pay their salaries and pensions. The taxpayers are shafted twice! If they go back to work as consultants, their pension payments should be suspended.

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