One of the many pathologies afflicting the public pension system in California is the practice of double-dipping, in which a state pensioner collects both retirement benefits from a previous job and a salary for new state employment. A particularly galling example of the practice has now come to light in Southern California, and as the Orange County Register's Tony Saavedra reports, this one's hard to beat for sheer moxy:
When David Noyes retired as general manager of Serrano Water District in late 2010, he dove right into his new job -- as acting general manager of Serrano Water District. His consulting contract was effective the same day as his retirement.
Noyes didn't even have to clean out his desk. And now he was collecting a yearly pension of $150,680 to go with his annual consultant's salary of $121,920 to work part-time running the district and Irvine Lake, where water is stored.The pension is bad enough on its own -- and it's not exactly unusual. As I noted here last fall, over 12,000 retired California public employees have six-figure pensions. But add on the salary and it's a trainwreck. The worst part? There's a decent chance that this is all legal under current law (CalPERS, the state pension system for public employees, is currently investigating). California needs pension reform. Soon.