Closing loopholes on public employee pensions

Every once in awhile, a story pops up about someone racking up overtime hours in their last few years being employed by some government entity to bolster their pension.

In the Buffalo News, we find out that Erie County Legislator Barbara Miller-Williams did just that in anticpation of retiring later this month from the Buffalo Police Department.

Seriously, I am in the wrong line of work.

From the article…

Miller-Williams is anything but sheepish about working overtime to boost her pension.

“The norm is to work very, very hard to increase your average. I’ve done nothing different than what anyone else has done,” she said. “I worked as hard as I could, but I had other responsibilities, so I couldn’t work as hard as some of my colleagues. But I did the best I could.”

I don’t blame her for trying get the most out of a pension system that is flawed and costly, but what something needs to be done to remedy the system.

For all the talk of reducing the size of government and downsizing village and town boards around WNY, this type of cost to governments and taxpayers is a real problem.  How many people like Barbara Miller-Williams are out there gaming the system to maximize their pension?  A lot…

More from the article…

“She’s gaming the system, which is done by police officers all over the state, and it’s costing the taxpayers a lot of money,” said Lise Bang-Jensen, senior policy analyst with the Empire Center for New York State Policy, a research and advocacy organization based in Albany.

“This is why the public is upset by the high cost of government,” she said

Yep…

It is easy to throw our anger at things like how many board members we have in towns and villages, but the true meter on what government costs us is in things like this.

Ugh…

Leave a Reply