What’s wrong with double-dipping? That’s what some StateImpact Ohio commenters want to know.
We wrote earlier this week about the practice of double-dipping, which is when a public employee retires, begins collecting his or her full pension, and then is rehired, usually by the same school district or agency that the employee retired from. The employee collects a salary plus his or her full pension and full health insurance benefits.
It’s legal and about a quarter of school superintendents do it.
Teacher Michael Birdwell asks via Twitter about Cincinnati’s superintendent going this retire/rehire route:
If she earned her retirement and the newly rehired position won’t enhance it – why does everyone have a problem with it??
And commenter Doug Fabens writes:
Lacking, here, are 1) a critical discussion of the illogic of opposition to “double dipping” and/or 2) a critical look into how much/to what degree public sector employees contribute to their pensions. Without those, this is a typical tax-season political distraction.
One problem with double-dipping is that It puts state pension funds at risk because it halts retirees’ contributions into the funds and starts their withdrawals.
Another possible problem is that keeping long-time administrators in place for years can make it harder for younger ones to move up through the ranks. (On the other hand, consistent, effective leadership can also be a good thing.)
But some reactions to the practice seem to go beyond that: The 2010 newspaper investigation into the practice described it as “cashing in on the system” and as creating an “exclusive club of superintendents who retire and return to their same job… after signing lucrative contracts.”
Help us understand: Are pension liabilities and stagnant central offices all that’s wrong with double-dipping? Do you think administrators and school boards are doing something morally wrong by approving these deals?