Mondo Fuego™But, this is really sad news ...Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:26pm220.127.116.11... In fact, it is freakin' outrageous ...
Some federal pensions pay handsome rewards
By Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAY and, Paul D'Ambrosio, Asbury Park
More than 21,000 retired federal workers receive lifetime government pensions of $100,000 or more per year, a USA TODAY/Gannett analysis finds.
Of these, nearly 2,000 have federal pensions that pay $125,000 or more annually, and 151 take home $150,000 or more. Six federal retirees get more than $200,000 a year.
Some 1.2% of federal retirees collect six-figure pensions. By comparison, 0.1% of military retirees collect as much. The New York State and Local Retirement System pays 0.2% of its retirees pensions of $100,000 or more. The New Jersey retirement system pays 0.4% of retirees that much. Comparable private figures aren't available.
The six-figure pensions spread across a broad swath of the federal workforce: doctors, budget analysts, accountants, public relations specialists and human resource managers. Most do not get Social Security benefits.
Retired law enforcement is the most common profession receiving $100,000-plus pensions, including 326 Drug Enforcement Administration agents, 237 IRS investigators and 186 FBI agents. The Postal Service has 714 retired workers getting six-figure retirements. The Social Security Administration has 444. A retired Smithsonian zoologist has a $162,000 annual lifetime pension.
The six $200,000-plus pensions include a doctor, a dentist and a credit union regulator, plus three retirees whose occupations weren't listed.
Top pension professions
Most common jobs held by federal retirees receiving pensions of $100,000 or more annually.
Criminal investigator 1,635
Program manager 1,423
Program administrator 1,391
Air traffic controller 1,163
General engineer 966
Management analyst 464
Electronics engineer 369
Physical scientist 348
Note: No occupation listed for 5,023 of the 21,089 retirees receiving pensions of $100,000 or more.
Source: USA TODAY analysis, Civil Service Retirement System database
Pensions are a growing federal budget burden, rising twice as fast as inflation over the last decade. Pension payments cost $70 billion last year, plus $13 billion for retiree health care. Taxpayers face a $2 trillion unfunded liability — the amount needed to cover future benefits — for these programs, according to the government's audited financial statement.
"These people are highly trained, highly skilled and often put their lives on the line in law enforcement," says Julie Tagen, legislative director of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees. "It's a very, very small portion of retirees at that ($100,000) level."
"Government pensions are vastly more generous than those in the private sector," says economist Veronique de Rugy of the market-oriented Mercatus Center. "It's no coincidence that if there is a good plan, it's available to federal employees rather than in the private sector."
USA TODAY and the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press— both owned by Gannett — analyzed the Civil Service Retirement System database, obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request. The Office of Personnel Management withheld some information, including names, ages and length of service.
The records cover 1.9 million federal civilian pensions. Congress members were not included, nor were military retirees.
The average federal pension pays $32,824 annually. The average state and local government pension pays $24,373, Census data show. The average military pension is $22,492. ExxonMobil, which has one of the best remaining private pensions, pays an average of $18,250 per retiree, Labor Department filings show.
The federal government has two retirement systems: one for those hired before 1984 and another for those hired after. Under the older system, employees did not participate in Social Security. The older system covers 78% of current retirees and accounts for 96% of six-figure pensions. All federal retirees receive health benefits.
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- But, this is really sad news ... Mondo Fuego™ , Wed Aug 15 4:26pm
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