Top 25 Local Government Salaries; Projected Lifetime Pensions Revealed
Todd Pittenger - Wed 02:47 PM 02/22/2012
(from left) Taxpayers United of America Director of Outreach Rae Ann McNeilly and Vice President Christina Tobin speak to the media on Wednesday.
An organization that believes government pensions are out of control, and unsustainable, revealed the top 25 salaries and projected pensions from Saline County, the City of Salina, and Salina teachers Wednesday.
Taxpayers United of America is currently traveling the country, making stops in every state. Kansas is their ninth stop so far.
In an effort to bring notice to their cause, the organization is stopping in communities across the country, revealing the salaries of local government employees, and projecting what their lifetime pensions will be.
For regular government employees the lifetime pensions are projected from retirement at age 62, to age 85. For police and fire lifetime pensions are projected from retirement at age 55, to age 85.
Vice President Christina Tobin says that the pensions are estimates, based on each employee working long enough to retire with a full pension. She says they had to estimate, because in Kansas government will release pension numbers, but not names.
Tobin says that government pensions are out of control all over the country, and are unsustainable.
She believes that all government workers need to get what is owed to them. However, the current pension system is broken, and needs to be changed to more of a 401K style program for new government employees.
Tobin thinks that the current pension system is so badly flawed, it is in danger of running out of money. She says that all government employees should contribute ten percent more to the pension system.
Another related issue Taxpayers United of America is tracking is “double dipping”. The organization’s director of outreach Rae Ann McNeilly says “double dipping” is when a government employee retires, and begins to draw their full pension. That employee then gets a job in another branch of government. That employee then gets paid for their new job, and at the same time continues to collect their full pension. She says while “double dipping” is not against the law, it is “not ethical or moral”.
Mcneilly says that there are currently at least 5,000 government employees in Kansas "double dipping".
While the group released a list of the top 25 from the three different groups in Salina and Saline County, they are also currently compiling a data base of every government employee in Salina and Saline County, their salary, and their estimated lifetime pension. They will make that list public as well, when it is finished.
Taxpayers United of America is a non-profit pro-taxpayer organization based in Chicago. The group is currently on a tour that will stop in all 50 states, and the Dictrict of Columbia, urging state governments to switch to 401K style pension plans.