On GoLocalProv, Stephen Beale picks up something that’s surely jumped out at anybody who’s spent much time with Rhode Island pension data:
At least two hundred local and state workers retired and started to collect pensions at the age of 45 or younger, according to state pension records obtained by GoLocalProv.
And that’s not counting anyone who received any kind of a disability pension. The remaining list includes state workers, teachers, and local firemen and police who retired under old rules that did not have minimum retirement ages. In all, the 200 early retirees have received $51.1 million in pension payments since they left state or local employ.
Play around with RIOpenGov’s state pension module, and you’ll see that many more are added as the age creeps up to 50 and 55. As I say in Beale’s article, a retirement system shouldn’t be designed as a booster for second careers; it should be a means of providing income during one’s years of aged decline. The system as it stands is a gross abuse of the people of Rhode Island, proving that they work for state employees, not the other way around.