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The Sound of Ideas

The Double Dip Incentive

Posted Monday, June 21, 2010

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The Double Dip Incentive Work hard, climb up the ladder, and then retire. That's the usual order for a working person. This is far from the case for those in the public sector, as retirement is often followed by an individual getting rehired for the same job while continuously collecting a pension. Although controversial, the practice is not illegal. Newspapers report that one in four school district superintendents do it. Can you blame them? Monday morning at 9, join host Dan Moulthrop for a conversation about the double dip incentive and its cost to tax payers.


Economy, Education, Government/Politics


Dennis Willard, Columbus Bureau Chief, Akron Beacon Journal
Patrick O’Donnell, Metro Reporter, The Plain Dealer
Jeffrey Lampert, Superintendent, Strongsville City Schools

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Meghan in Lakewood 9:14 AM 6/21/10

This practice should not be tolerated by our state government and ourselves, the tax payers. How is this double-dipping legal, when it is so clearly an unethical use of tax dollars? Why should a few people be getting rich on our money while the state legislators are seeking to cut spending on public assistance and other programs?

jackie 9:29 AM 6/21/10

yes he is avoiding the question, because he would not have - it is not ALL about the kids - is is about doubling ones income.
Current caller is right on the money.

Heather 9:30 AM 6/21/10

Have you ever known a superintendent?  The good ones work ridiculous hours, deal with the problems of the students, teachers, administrators, and parents of all schools in their district.  They have to take all sides in to account, remain calm and composed, make critical decisions, often while taking criticism from everyone involved.  They can make the difference between a district that gets by and one where staff and faculty are fulfilled, students are learning, parents are involved, and the entire community benefits from the improved atmosphere.  These people can be called at any hour to deal with a wide range of issues and spend a great deal of time outside of office hours on the job. Just think of the numerous high school sporting events to be attended.  These people are rehired because there aren’t enough people who are qualified and willing to take the enormous pressures involved.  The quality of the educational experience in these districts would drop substantially if this so called double dipping were made illegal.

SJ 9:45 AM 6/21/10

Perhaps we need to look at human nature propensity to choose the familiar. These re-hires are chosen and choose (in the case of the Superintendents/administrators)or( in the case of teachers).  Why don’t we mentor new adminstrators, the new er people would be brought along by these retirees who seem tohave emmense resouces . Aren’t we an educational system?

tom 9:56 AM 6/21/10

Very simple solution:  If you’re rehired for the same position, you’re no longer retired.  As long as you’re working and receiving pay and benefits you don’t receive your pension.  Once you retire you get your pension. It’s either/or not and.

Steve Thomas 9:58 AM 6/21/10

Good Morning,
So,we as a society, in the educational industry, are in a position that needs new ways to find solutions. And all that has happened is a circling of the wagons keeping the same crew in charge and different opportunities for change out.
In short old ideas out old ideas in, and then the community loses.
Steve T

John H, near west side 10:11 AM 6/21/10

Ethics have nothing to do with the legality of a business practice. Think Haliburton, BP, etc. Just another example of a good-ol-boys cadre. If I hire a outside person over a previous employee, the new person will spend money in the community. If I hire the retiree, he/she won’t spend twice as much money in the community. It’s a matter of distributing more money and jobs into the community, and this is not a goal of business, public or private. Businesses simply want to fulfill a job with the most qualified person. The rehiree has specific experience that can (almost) never be trumped by a new employee.

Ron 12:53 PM 6/21/10

Lost in the shuffle is the concept that this pension fund (and many other public pension funds) exist as a substitute for social security.

These employees do not pay into social security and enjoy a much greater retirement benefit as a result.  Social security has evolved into a safety net for our society, and functions as much as a tax as a pension.  This makes it a poor investment for most payees who would gladly opt out to invest their retirements privately.

Public employees who do not pay into social security do not shoulder their portion of the public safety net. 

Many public workers take a lower salary in exchange for this tremendous retirement benefit.  At the very least, these public workers should shoulder 3% to 4% of their salaries into social security to shoulder their portion of the safety net. 

Those who want to double dip should also be required to pay into social security at full rate without benefit. 

If they don’t like the payments into social security, they should be forced to pay into social security like the rest of us. 

Public employees should not enjoy a far greater pension than the public they serve.  They should pay their share of the social safety net.

Rich 3:14 PM 6/21/10

The tem Double Dipping implies a wrong doing. I am a local government employee who is four years past retirement age and time. If I should choose to retire and return to work for the city, it must be under a different retirement plan. In addition, the city I work for would receive a substantial savings by not paying into the state plan. This side of the story was never reported.

darla 4:38 PM 6/21/10

When ecomonic times were good, and people in business had great pay and regular raises, no one envied the teachers and their salaries. Most educators knew they could make more money in the private sector, but chose to stay in the field they loved, with the knowledge they had a good retirement. Superintendents are the CEOs of a corporation, but they all started out as teachers, with so-so - sometimes terrible - teacher pay. Now that economic times are not so good, people are looking at educators and saying hey, wait a minute, you can retire in your fifties? That’s not fair. But no one changed the rules. Anyone who’s complaining also could have continued their education with a minimum of their bachelor and masters degrees, put in 30+ years in education. If the system can’t sustain itself, I agree we will have to make changes, but I don’t think it’s fair to act as though people in education are unethical or are in some way cheating the system. What they are currently doing with double dipping is known, legal, and ethical.

Nicole 1:55 PM 6/23/10

I am a young teacher and have been fortunate enough to get a great job at a wonderful school district. However, my fiancée has had to struggle through four years of subing and interviewing to no avail. Several of the districts he has interviewed with employ this practice and it is highly frustrating for him. He has done everything right and yet continues to have to pour money into maintaining his license and ongoing classes without any real return. He has no healthcare and continues to earn just above minimum wage. Although I dislike this practice, perhaps a closer look should be taken at the funding of education at the state and federal levels that forces schools to resort to cutting costs to the detriment of young professionals like my fiancée. One great example is the cutting of the inventory tax and other corporate taxes by the state, which is placing many districts in dire straights.


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