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View Diary: Paul Ryan: Budget negotiations are for cutting federal pensions, not corporate tax loopholes (81 comments)

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  •  It's not really a "special payment" (19+ / 0-)

    As leevank noted below, it's actually the FERS system and how it is set up.

    Currently, you get a "minimum retirement age" that allows you to retire earlier than 62 years old.  So in my wife's case, her MRA is 57 years old, provided she has 30 years of federal service in.

    The ironic part is that if you made her work 5 more years to age 62, it would probably cost more...in 5 years of benefits, salary, etc., at the highest level, plus a higher pension payout because of the 5 extra years worked that go into the formula for figuring your pension payment.

    If they truly wanted to make a cost savings, the federal government would adopt a mandatory retirement age for non-exempt workers.  There are a lot of GS-15s out there that have qualified for retirement long ago and still drawing a salary long past age 70.  It is actually creating a ceiling for younger workers to be able to advance, and chasing a lot of younger workers out of the federal government (along with the wonderful morale boosters of pay freezes and government shutdowns).

    Cake or DEATH? Oh, I'll have cake, please.

    by wmtriallawyer on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 08:35:39 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  thanks (12+ / 0-)

      I found a link to the a report on the system.  Pretty typical retirement system based on years of service not age.

      And I totally agree with your analysis, if we kept these folks on with higher pay and benefits, they would cost more and block jobs for younger people.

      Mostly it comes down to a typical Republican attack, look these people have retirement benefits and we've successfully convinced private business to do away with your pension.  Help us take these people's pensions away too.  Always a race to the bottom for average working people.

      I wish the dead enders still supporting Republicans would wise up.

      •  Just doing some further research (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jfromga, elwior, Osiris, ColoTim

        there is a "supplemental payment" qualification if you retire before 62 that feds can get if you retire before 62 to bridge the gap for eligibility for SS payments. You can find it here.

        So, giving Ryan the benefit of the doubt, there is a "special payment" I suppose...one which relatively few people qualify for, because you'd have to have regular retirement, with 30 years of federal service in, before age 62...and you'd have to want to retire before age 62.

        Compare that my scenario above.  At least 1% of the civilian federal workforce is over the age of 70, from the last study I found.  That's roughly 14,000 workers...assuming their salary is averaging $75,000 a year (a pretty good bet for that much seniority), that's a billion dollars a year in salary alone.  I'm thinking the cost to have them retire with a pension is less than keeping them on the payroll.

        Cake or DEATH? Oh, I'll have cake, please.

        by wmtriallawyer on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 08:54:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  There used to be a mandatory retirement age (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wmtriallawyer, wasatch, ColoTim

      It was abolished in the late 1970's because it was determined that such rules, other than for law enforcement, firefighters and air traffic controllers where reaction time was critical, constituted age discrimination.

      The reason the federal government provides for a relatively early retirement age and decent benefits is to encourage older workers to step aside. Unfortunately, economics are such that many who could and perhaps should retire aren't able to do so.

      One attorney in our agency worked into her 90's and from what I have been told she was damned good at her job until the day she retired.

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