National poster child of double-dippers

Ogden Police Chief Jon Greiner today is a national poster child of government employee double-dippers.

A USA Today story reported that state officials across the country are moving to crack down on “retirement in place.” Greiner’s case is cited as an example of the type of double hit that states want to thwart. Greiner qualifies for the dubious national attention because he retired as police chief several years ago and immediately was rehired. That set him up to continue drawing the chief’s salary as well as retirement benefits.

Greiner also is a state senator, and he’s unapologetic about his arrangements. Greiner and his salary-and-retirement deal also have been defended by Mayor Matthew Godfrey. But I’m guessing Greiner’s double-dipping case going national is not the type of “recreational high adventure” fame Godfrey wants Ogden to keep getting in the top press.

But there’s no mistaking that there’s a groundswell in Utah’ Legislature and others across the country to end the sweet deals, especially as states reel from the economic recession.

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9 Responses to National poster child of double-dippers

  1. laytonian says:

    Utah’s “retire then get rehired and draw double” policy is a drain on the taxpayers, no matter what the state of the economy.

    Who came up with this? No one will convince me that the policy keeps “the good people”…..because anyone can be replaced.

  2. flatlander100 says:

    Laytonian:

    There are occasionally limited circumstances in which a re-hire retirees policy makes sense. For example, occasionally there is a shortage of some skilled job — say nursing — that would justify trying to rehire retired nurses to fill the gap for the duration of the shortage. Some years ago, there was a teacher shortage in some areas that justified rehiring retirees to fill the gaps. Such instances are localized, and usually short lived.

    The problems we face with Greiner-type-situations, and they do create a problem, is that the “retirement in place” policy was made generally available, and it’s been coupled with relatively short retirement periods necessary to qualify for state pensions or municipal pensions. Only twenty years in some cases.

    The way to fix this involves two changes to state public employment policies: (a) first, pensions are intended to be used for someone’s retirement, not as a second income to be collected during a second career over half of a working life. Some states now vest people in their pensions at 20 years, but don’t permit them to collect until they turn 60 or 62 or 65. Thus if you worked for the state for twenty years and stopped working for the state, you’d be entitled to your pension, first payment on your 60th or 62nd or 65th birthday [whatever the legislature chose]. Note: this would have to apply only to new hires, since those already hired have a contract with the state regarding pensions and when they are eligible for them. That contract would have to be honored.] And (b) some states forbid re-employment by the state once you’ve retired from a state job. If you do return to state employment, your pension is suspended while you work. This policy can be suspended only in emergency situations certified by the governor involving local shortages of skilled workers, and only for short periods of time. Say two years, max. Time enough to correct the shortage by other means.

    Something like those policies ought to be adopted in Utah.

  3. Boj says:

    Don’t forget soon he will be eligible for a retirement as a Utah Senator.. Triple dipper.. Then if he gets real ambitions he cna run for US Congress and if he can serve 2 terms get that retirement

    Go Jon Go, you can go for the rare Quadruple Dip

  4. Just another humble servant says:

    It’s not just Piggy Greiner, it’s all the Lieutenants, Deputy Chiefs in the Police department. The Fire Chief, the Fire Marshal in the Fire Department that are abusing the system.

    Dont forget only a few select faithful followers are allowed to participate in the greedy double dip program in Ogden. It’s unfair, and it’s putting a hardship on those who are still contributing to the retirement system, as their contribution rates to the retirement system are now going to skyrocket.

  5. sageseeker1 says:

    All of these oinkers will continue to slurp at the trough for as long as they’re allowed, rationalizing their glutteny with the “good people are hard to find” argument. There are many qualified, capable people with fresh ideas who will do these jobs for less!

  6. Dovie says:

    Utah seems to be poster child for alot of things. Reddest, most gerrymandered, most double dipped, prescription drug abuse, ADHD meds, pyramid scheme capitol, polygamy apologists..

    Not sure how well the polygamy apologist thing will hold up due to Brian David Mitchell (Elizabeth Smart). The state sure is spending alot of money to prove that he’s sane. Let’s see, he’s a homeless, deluded narcissist who believes he’s the one true prophet of God and has a right to inflict himself on others.

    I believe Utah is the only state in the union who would have trouble certifying the guy nuts and locking him away. In most states the belief that you are a God or the one true prophet is certifiable. Not here, Utah will spare no expense to prove the man’s complete sanity.

    There goes the rainy day fund.

  7. ctrentelman says:

    what amazes me is how the chief has that shi?-eating grin of his every time I see him, and he passes himself off as a conservative, too. Sort of like years ago when Ogden was going to start busing students to one of its elementary schools because it was cheaper because the state will pick up the cost of the buses — “but it’s all tax money!” I kept telling the reporter doing the stories, “it’s not really cheaper!”

    nobody believed me. It’s the classic “something for nothing as long as it shafts someone else” idea, also being argued in my own blog at http://blogs.standard.net/2009/12/should-the-poor-pay-more-taxes/

    free ad at mark’s expense!

  8. Jay says:

    Let me get this straight… you people think that police officers or other public employees should not be eligible for retirement benefits? The employees PAY INTO THE PENSION PLAN while they are working… its not just some imaginary fund where tax payers write checks to police officers. Do you guys not know how retirement plans work??? While they are working the employee pays a part of their check into their pension plan. When they retire- they get that money back. IT IS THEIR MONEY!!!!! If they want to start working again- they can. They are providing a service and are getting paid. They are collecting retirement because they ALREADY EARNED IT!!!

    Are people who are over 65 and collecting social security at the same as drawing a salary for another job ‘double dipping?’ – seriously you people need to find another place to direct your anger- perhaps at a something you understand- because you obviously do not understand how retirement funds work.

  9. Carl Kove says:

    Jay, If Greiner wanted to be Chief of Police why did he retire? All he did was play the system for a big pay increase(retirement pay) withoiut actually retiring from his job.

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