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.
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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