New York Public Employees Game the Pension System with Excessive Overtime, Says AG
Some New York public employees are spiking their pension benefits by working hundreds of hours of overtime as they near retirement, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday.
For example, a police officer with a history of zero overtime worked more than 800 hours of overtime in his last years on the job, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate said in a report.
The pension benefits that state and local employees qualify for often are partly determined by how much they earn in the last few years at work.
This use of overtime, called pension padding, hurts New Yorkers as each year their taxes contribute $2.5 billion to the state's Common Retirement fund, Cuomo said.
It appears as though everyone is doing it and what's to stop them?
Cuomo calls the practice fraud though we're sort of sketchy on that word being used in this sense since it's allowed and wide-spread, fraud generally being the sort of thing that just a handful of unscrupulous individuals engage in driven by rationalization, opportunity or motive. Then again, I guess the rationalization is that these public employees have earned it, the opportunity is more than there since everyone is doing it and the motive is the same as always, more money. Greed is a powerful motivator and in an environment absent of control, it's not hard to see how something like this could go down on a massive scale.
"You have some people who work no overtime throughout their career and then the last year or the last couple of years, all of a sudden, do hundreds of hours of overtime just for purposes of increasing the salary and increasing the pension. That is not an agreed to cost. That is not what was fair and right. That's a fraud and that's what we're looking at," said Cuomo.
Them's fightin words, Mr AG, hope you're ready to get bit by the big bad public worker bee brigade.