May 20th, 2024

Pension double-dipping won’t come at a minimal cost

By Letter to the Editor on December 1, 2021.

 On Nov. 23, the Lethbridge Public School Board passed a motion to extend its voluntary retirement package to employees for another year thus permitting continued double-dipping by paying salaries to retired employees while they are drawing pension.
As a speaker at the meeting put it “long-serving employees appreciate the opportunity.” Who wouldn’t! The speaker also stated that “there is minimal cost to the division,” a false assertion.
  The costs to the division could be substantial.
It was noted that over the past four years there were 30 employees who took advantage of the voluntary retirement package.
If they were all teachers at top salary of $100,000 per year, as opposed to teachers at the bottom salary of $60,000 per year, the maximum difference could be $20,000 for a half year of service, for a total cost overall of up to $600,000 over the four years.
I would say that is not a “minimal cost.”
   Add to the cost of salaries, the cost to the retirement funds of early withdrawal of pensions for these same teachers being at least $35,000 each, times 30.
 This is a matter that younger ATA members contributing to the Pension Fund should be concerned about.
 The LPSD Board of Trustees has an opportunity to reverse its decision on double-dipping at the Dec. 14 Board meeting.
Let’s hope they do so.
Michael Seitz
Medicine Hat

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sour grapes hear, it is not double dipping. the employee retired and drew his pension. the school board had a position available. the retired employee qualified for the position and took it. if joe retired, and harry filled the position it would be ok the cost wold be the same. the problem is that there is jealousy of somebody getting two pay cheques.