Skip to comments.Public Employee: Retire at 57, get $94,000 a year
Posted on 11/27/2012 6:07:41 AM PST by MichCapCon
When Flint Community Schools Superintendent Linda Thompson made news that she was going to retire, what was missed was the fiscal impact of her leaving the school system.
Thompson worked 36 years for the Flint school district and will be 57 when she retires. A public school employee who worked 36 years for Flint schools and made Thompson's average salary of $175,649 the past three years would earn a pension of $94,850 a year.
If that 57-year-old retiree received a pension for the 26 years of his or her life expectancy with a 3 percent cost of living annual increase, it would grow to $204,552 a year.
"They are getting lavish benefits from an underfunded pension system, said James Hohman, a fiscal policy analyst with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. "But the terms are the terms. The problem with the pension system is the politicians dont put enough money aside for it. It's not her fault that politicians can't be trusted to manage a pension."
Thompson's benefits are part of the guarantees written into the contracts she worked under in her time in the district. The generous terms highlight the need for serious reform of the taxpayer-funded teacher pensions systems.
The Michigan Public School Employees' Retirement Systems unfunded liability has reached $22.4 billion. One reason is the state tacks on a 3-percent annual cost of living adjustment to many of the pensions of public school retirees.
The state law was changed in 2010 so that public school employees hired from July 1, 2010 and after do not get the 3 percent cost of living adjustment.
A 2010 study done by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy found that only 6 of 24 major private companies in Michigan had a defined benefit pension plan similar to what teachers are offered. And none of the 24 private companies offered cost-of-living increases.
Its not my fault my wife & I are doing reasonably well in our business, either, but the president says we must do 'our fair share' and put some 'skin in the game'. Up our taxes go.
So I don't see why Linda's 'lavish' retirement salary should be off the table.
However, if she was some sort of sparkling star of an administrator, and competition for the best people was tight on the hiring agencies, then they made a deal for the use of her talents for that period of time she was a superintendent.
Once you make the deal and sign the contract and then use someone's peak earning years in their working life doing your stuff, rather than her doing somebody else's stuff, the contract stands.
We had a top administrator who was, himself, a dud. He was gay too, which is relevant. His wife, though, wasn't gay, but she had several boyfriends in the House and the Senate and whenever the agency really needed some relief from foolish regulatory laws she could be depended on to deliver the package.
So, what was the proper salary for that manager? What about his retirement? Did he earn it? What about his wife?
The couple were, in the end, worth billions of dollars!
We really don't know enough about this woman ~ she may well be worth every penny she gets in her retirement ~ or, maybe she was the dud!
Seems to me she’s been fleecing the taxpayer for long enough.
Those poor poor teachers, only making $175,000 a year.
In this case I consider 'skin' to be part of a full salary, with COLA increases, for life for doing nothing.
As far as the contract is concerned, I suspect a judge might ultimately decide whether or not it stands. But as judges are eligible for their own pensions hell will freeze over before this woman's 'lavish' benefits are touched.
The fact that the teacher gets a big pension is not due to her “boss” thinking she was worth it. Her pension is due to the union bosses who stacked the school board with their own people. These are not people who own a business and have to look at the bottom line. This (the school boards) is how we got into this mess. We, the taxpayers, have no say.
(yawn)....your average bus driver in Pittsburgh gets a sweeter deal than that.
Nice work if you can get it.
I agree. If it's money going out, it needs to be on the table and admit their agreement was wrong as they/unions lacked foresight while embracing greed. She needs to take a 10% cut.
One can see how SS is a rip off!
You seem to miss the point.
Whether she pays taxes is irrelevant Her extravagant pay and benefits, including early retirement, are fully funded by the Michigan taxpayers. Any taxes paid comes from taxes paid to fund her.. It's past time that the people (taxpayers) being asked to fund the out of whack contracts sit on a committee and have a say in what these people are to make.
We have a system where politicians use taxpayer dollars to fund unions in a vote buying scam.
If her plan was a defined contribution plan then she would be carrying the risk of investing her pension. Since it is a defined benefit plan then the firm,in this case government, carries the risk of investing the money she has contributed towards her pension.
Just like many firms may have over or underfunded DB plans, they are required to meet their obligations. If the pension funds were poorly managed, then blame needs to be put on the people managing those funds
“They are getting lavish benefits from an underfunded pension system, said James Hohman, a fiscal policy analyst with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
Wow! Thanks for recognizing that now. Where were you 36 years ago. It is NOT the woman’s problem that she worked 36 years and this is what she is getting in retirement. Most people today working for government are not going to get these type of retirments....had she started after 1981, she would be getting 36 percent of her final 3....much lower.
She is NOT a teacher. She is equvalent to a CEO of a company. Not making millions that is for sure like CEOs do.
Nice work if you can get it.
We ALL had the same opportunities she did. Is it her fault that she made wiser decisions that some of us did?
She isn’t. She didn’t have a say in the rules whatsoever.
Did we all have the same opportunities?
I submit that public knowledge of a person being a conservative would preclude them from attaining her position.
I have a friend that was fired as a history teacher and subsequently black balled from teaching at other schools for being a conservative.
Is that the case throughout the nation? Are the budget busters here, really, the pensions owed to administrators - who top out (best three years) at $100K+? Or do line teachers eventually climb the ladder to become administrators themselves?
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