Letters to the Editor

Haddock letter: Pension spiking

Under present retirement rules, appointed or elected officials fitting the job/hour description as legislators would be treated differently, as in the following scenario.

A county commissioner makes $17,000/year for 26 years, and is then appointed to a $106,000 state position for five years. His retirement would be split, and at full retirement age he would receive $8,800/year for his county service, and $10,600/year for state service, a total of $19,440/year.

A legislator at $17,000/year for 26 years is appointed to a $106,000/year state position for five years. He is treated as if all 31 years are at the state position, receiving a total of $65,720/year.

The difference over a normal retirement would be over $1.1 million. The purpose of the split calculation is to prevent “pension spiking,” but the Legislature (and only the Legislature) is exempt from the rule.

This is abhorrent. However, efforts to correct it have seldom gotten out of committee, and been voted down when they have. For a group that prides itself on doing “right,” even in cases adversely affecting the health of Idahoans, to allow this exemption to continue is grossly hypocritical.

My message to the Legislature: Make it right.

Jim Haddock, Meridian