Ohio

Eye on Education

Lakeland Community College President Becomes $250,000 Double-Dipper

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Lakeland Community College President Morris Beverage has joined the ranks of Ohio’s double-dippers.

Beverage will retire Dec. 31 which will allow him to begin collecting his pension, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. He’lll start work again On Jan. 2.

Double-dipping 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.

Beverage is 58 and currently earns $285,000 a year for leading the 9,500-student community college, the Plain Dealer reports.  After his “retirement,” the college will pay Beverage $256,500 a year. Beverage will also receive his pension payments and retiree health benefits.

Double-dipping is a cheaper deal for the organization the employee works for and is completely legal. It’s particularly common among K-12 school administrators. A 2011 investigation by Ohio newspapers found that  about a quarter of school superintendents do it.

But double-dipping is not exactly a win-win. It puts state pension funds at risk because it halts retiree contributions and starts their withdrawals. And keeping the same administrators in place for a long time can make it harder for younger administrators to move up through the ranks.

Double-dipping also tends to annoy some taxpayers who feel like they’re paying someone twice for doing one job.

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