Here's some more details:Sen. John Cornyn has been supplementing his Senate salary for six years with pensions earned from his days as a Texas judge and attorney general - retirement payments that went undisclosed for several years.
Cornyn's most recent annual disclosure statement, filed last month, shows he collected $65,383 from three Texas pension plans in 2012. That's on top of his $174,000 Senate salary.
He drew $48,807 from the Judicial Retirement System of Texas, stemming from service on the Texas Supreme Court from 1990 to 1997, plus $7,645 from the Employees Retirement System of Texas, and $6,444 from the Texas County and District Retirement System.
He served as the state's attorney general from 1999 to 2002, when he was elected to the Senate. From 1984 to 1990, he served as a district court judge in Bexar County. - Dallas News, 6/18/13
There's a term for this:The biggest of Cornyn’s pensions—$48,807— is from the Judicial Retirement System of Texas. He served on the state Supreme Court from 1991 to 1997.
He reported another $10,132 in retirement benefits last year from the Employees Retirement System of Texas—the pension fund for state elected officials and workers. Cornyn served as Texas attorney general from 1999 to 2002.
In a series of financial-disclosure amendments that he began filing last July, Cornyn disclosed that he had actually been collecting that $10,132 annual pension as far back as 2006. He had not listed it on his original disclosure reports from 2006 to 2010.
Cornyn also reported a $6,444 retirement distribution from the Texas County and District Retirement System. He was a state district judge from 1985 to 1989, according to his official bio, when the governor appointed him presiding judge for the Fourth Administrative Judicial Region of Texas, where he oversaw judicial administration for a 22-county region.Cornyn, 61, is not the first or only prominent Texas Republican to draw both a public pension and a public salary. In December 2011, it was revealed that Texas Gov. Rick Perry was supplementing his $150,000 governor’s salary with a state pension of more than $92,000. - National Journal, 6/17/13
Ok, so you know how there's been plenty of talk about making Texas competitive? Lets get that started for next year. Of course I'll be interested in the Texas Governors race but the Senate race is worth watching. If anyone has any news on the Texas Senate race or info about potential Democrats, please let me know in the comments.Pension expert Andrew G. Biggs, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, calls these and other arrangements one of the “odd incentives built into most public sector DB”—for defined benefit—“pensions.” Another consequence is double- (or, in Cornyn’s case, triple-) dipping. “Once you reach around age 55,” Biggs emails, “the amount you contribute each year [usually around 6% of pay] is greater than the additional pension benefits you earn in that year. [Cornyn was 50 when he first ran for Senate.] As a result, retirements spike at around that time since it doesn’t really make sense to work much longer. But often those retired employees will get another job, so in effect they’re claiming retirement from one job while working another. In some cases this may be morally dubious—for instance, a person will retire from one job and move into an almost identical job in the same office.”
While Biggs believes the double-dipping incentive is bad public policy, the massive disparity between public and private retirement packages is even more alarming. “[T]he benefits,” he emails, “are much more generous for government employees…and on average the retirement package for state government employees—meaning pensions and retiree health benefits—is around seven times [italics added] more generous than for similar workers employed in larger private-sector companies.” Stating the obvious, Biggs adds that this is “a pretty big deal given how stretched government budgets are.”
Lavish retirement packages would seem a more serious political problem for budget-cutting Republicans than for free-spending Democrats, who, after all, are usually out and proud about bringing home the bacon. “You would think it would be off-brand,” Tanene Allison, communications director of the Texas Democratic Party, says about Cornyn’s good fortune. “But it seems to be par for the course for Republican leaders in Texas, despite their rhetoric about being fiscally conservative. How ironic. Democrats have not made cutting government spending part of their main philosophy.”
Cornyn, who is hardly a Tea Party favorite, will be under further pressure to tack to the right, while enjoying the fruits of state-sponsored socialism, by his flashy junior colleague Ted Cruz—who is, for the moment anyway, a Tea Party hero.
“Real people can agree that there is something messed up with Washington—Washington does not live in the real world,” says Scottie Nell Hughes, news director of the Tea Party News Network. “In Cornyn’s case, what he’s getting is completely legal and he’s earned it. Unfortunately, until now, the people haven’t paid attention to these laws that have passed…. But what do you want Cornyn to do? Give back the money?” - The Daily Beast, 6/19/13