Utah Chiefs Collect Salary, Pensions Simultaneously


It’s double dipping without ever leaving your desk, says the Salt Lake Tribune. You can retire and stay in your job at the same time, collecting both your salary and half again as much in pension payments. It’s perfectly legal if you are a police chief or a county sheriff and have logged 20 years in law enforcement. For Grantsville Police Chief Dan Johnson, that meant going from $50,000 a year to $75,000. Kaysville Police Chief David Helquist went from $71,000 a year to $106,000. All it took was a call to the pension plan. State Public Safety Commissioner Robert Flowers earns an annual salary of $102,792 and receives retirement benefits of $53,964 after 20 years at other law-enforcement agencies. “I have taken a lot of crap and a lot of heat over this,” said Johnson. “But I’m following Utah state law.”

In 1999 and 2002, Utah legislators passed measures allowing sheriffs and police chiefs to take retirement without leaving their salaried positions. It was part of an effort to prevent brain drain among Utah’s top cops. A complicated formula allows a 20-year veteran officer to collect 50 percent of his top annual salary, while an officer with 30 years can pocket 70 percent. It will become a problem across the state as more and more positions are filled with double dippers, warned Mike Jerman of the business-backed Utah Taxpayers Association. “Why should anybody get a 50 percent pay increase for doing something they’ve been doing anyway?” Jerman asked. “If every government employee retires and keeps a salary, it’s going to become a burden to taxpayers.”

Link: http://www.sltrib.com/ci_3170842

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