In Wayne County, it can pay to retire
More questions about payouts under Ficano
Published: October 12, 2011
Some of the former employees who retired, began collecting pensions and then returned to work at the county, were brought back for “short-term transitions,” Schenk says.
Overall, he called the re-hiring of a retired employee collecting a pension a “very rare circumstance.”
He deflected questions about how it would appear to taxpayers who were not only helping fund pension payments but also the salaries of the returning appointees.
“You can look at the budget of Wayne County now as compared to where it was five years ago and the amount of money the taxpayers are paying to support Wayne County government is dramatically less than it was,” he says. “The cost of government has gone down dramatically.”
Chuck Bonza, an accounting supervisor in the Wayne County treasurer’s office, learned of the 24-week payment provision when he joined the retirement board in January. Throughout this year he’s seen employees retire — sometimes with other incentives — and receive the separation payments before returning to work on contract with the county.
“As a long-term employee, it’s disheartening sometimes that people with shorter service are walking out with benefits that those who have been there a long time don’t get,” Bonza says. “And then they come right back to work here.”
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