We have previously posted about the long standing practice of public employees “retiring” from their position and then returning to work in the same capacity and same pay and benefit scale. This is commonly known as “double dipping”.
The Lake County Commissioners wanted us to know about their current Retire/Rehire policy that was passed earlier in 2018. Here is the written policy: LC RetireRehire Policy
As we understand the policy, it only applies to individuals that have worked for the County for 30 years, and they would be rehired only for the same position, but can only attain 80% of the salary previously paid for the position. The rehired employee would still be eligible for pension benefits and would receive an annuity for any new benefits accrued during the rehire period.
Thanks to Lobbyists Ellie & Dale for the following comments about the Retire/Rehire Policy:
I think the Lake County Retire/Rehire policy is well thought out. The considerations outlined are sound plus the compensation guidelines will save money. An employee could just keep working in the position at 100% instead of retiring. Also, the county may not incur expenses for a personnel search.
Outlined below is an example of how the guidelines could benefit the county financially using the 80% model. Plus, the county would still have the expertise and qualifications of the employee.
Assume $60,000 final year salary.
Final year employer contribution at 14% (OPERS Employer contribution rate) = $8,400.
Rehire salary = $48,000 ($60,000 X 80%).
New contribution amount at 14% = $6,720.
Note: The employer rate is 18.1% for law enforcement or public safety employees.
Savings: Salary $60,000 – $48,000 = $12,000.
OPERS savings $8,400 – $6720 = $1,680.
Total annual savings = $13,680 ($12,000 + $1,680).
The process of rehiring someone needs to insure that it is done to benefit the employer and not just to reward a long time or “favored” employee.
(Comment: Although I am not generally in favor of these type of programs, there is certainly an advantage to the County to rehire someone with 30 years experience in their position, and as the above calculation shows, there is a cost savings to the taxpayers.)