"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Monday, September 25, 2006

Retiring at 45

Just another example of the unsustainable benefits New Jersey state workers receive:

State corrections office Stewart Harris, a PBA union leader, earns the same salary as other members of his union with at least 12.5 years on the job -- $70,480 -- which will increase to $72,136 in late December.

Harris, 44, plans to retire next June on a pension that will pay him 65 percent of what he earned as a correctional officer. Additionally, the insurance premium for his retiree health benefits will be paid by the state.
This guy will retire at the age of 45 with free health benefits for life and a yearly pension of $46,888.


At 7:03 AM, Blogger Ken Adams said...

What's really sad about this is that an Army Sergeant First Class retiring from service after 20 years is only entitled to half of his $42,789.60 annual salary.

At 9:42 AM, Blogger showhank said...

I think 20-25 years and out is standard for corrections work in the country. Are you disturbed by the 20 years or the high salary?

Although I think there is lots of waste in NJ, these guys are probably not the first place to look, corrections is a thankless job.

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Enlighten said...

The state’s taxpayers can not afford to have people begin collecting retirement benefits at age 45.

At 4:27 PM, Blogger Mr. Apropos said...

Even is the state could afford it, why should we be forced to pay health benefits for the next 40+ years? I don't care how thankless the job is, he only did for a decade or so and now I have to foot medical for the next half century. Awesome.

At 5:52 PM, Anonymous Bob said...

This guy will retire at the age of 45 with free health benefits for life and a yearly pension of $46,888.

Some argue that the rules should be changed for retirees to take away their health benefits since the state tab for them is too great.

While I agree that changes need to be made, it is hardly is fair to Mr. Harris, my widowed mother, or anyone else who worked under a set of rules that permitted this.

If the rules don't work, change them for new hires, not those who committed themselves to a particular career.

At 6:57 PM, Blogger Enlighten said...

Good grief Bob, no one is talking about changing anything for your widowed mother. Mr. Harris and the other 75,000 or so state workers are not yet retired. Changing the retirement benefits only for new hires will not solve the financial crisis taxpayers face today. (Not to mention that the state is currently overstaffed and should need very few new hires.)

Further, no one is suggesting we not pay the pensions accrued to date based upon the current formulas and permitted retirement ages. What we are talking about is changing the calculation formulas and retirement ages for pension benefits earned on wages going forward.

We can calculate what these folks have accrued (earned) under the “old” contracts and payout that portion at the previously permitted ages of retirement. From here on out all additional pension benefits would be calculated on the “new” formulas and retirement ages. The total monthly pension would be a combination of the amount accrued under the old plan plus the benefit under the new plan.

As for retiree healthcare benefits, costs should be shared between the state and the beneficiary. The retiree’s share should be on a sliding scale based upon total income as reported on the retiree’s federal income tax return. This would apply to all new retirees, not those already retired.

At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"use guys" don't understand the system. State Police, Corrections Officer and selected deputy attorney generals are in a different union, not the CWA as the majority of rank and file are. They can retire earlier and they get a larger "%" of their base salary.
I am rank and file with 25+ years and I am 56. If I retire now I will not get 50% of my base salary, trust me. I will need to work until I am 62 and have 30 years in, just like the private sector.

At 6:14 AM, Anonymous Mr. Bingley said...

Moto, don't get me wrong, I am appreciative of your work, but as someone who has worked not 'just like' but actually in the private sector for nearly 25 years myself what is this 'pension' thing you are refering to? When I retire aside from SS the only income I will have is from what I've managed to save.

At 7:58 AM, Anonymous Gavin said...

Pretty effective information, lots of thanks for the article.
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