Retirement as a Second-Career Opportunity

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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.



  • Vouchers=Savings?

    I believe you have run (unsuccessfully) for public office several times since you moved to our fair state. Were you prepared to decline to participate in this “gross abuse of the people of Rhode Island” if elected?

    • Mike678

      Please remind us how many times Honest Abe ran for election before he became President of the United States? Perhaps you appear so petty and small because you are part of the problem?

    • ShannonEntropy

      If Justin was ever elected to public office, it would most likely be with the specific aim of stopping that “gross abuse of the people of Rhode Island”

      V=S? :

      I doubt that you could get a clue at Clues ‘R Us during
      a President’s Day Clue Sale

  • Guest

    Justin’s statement; “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.” proves one thing to me that he fails to grasp the legal laws and society which were in effect before he was born.

    The standard private business world practices was work 20 years for the company and you can retire and that was what was in effect when these 200 people retired from municipal and state government service at age 45
    because they worked their 20 years. You also have to remember work 20 years and get 80% of salary and if you work 30 years you still get only 80% of your salary as there was no advantage to working longer years. NO LAWS were broken or taken advantage of for personal gain.

    However the retirement law was later changed from work 20 years to work 35 years and you can retire with 80% of your salary. That still means if you start work right out of high school at 18 years old you can retire at age 53 or age 57 as a teacher with a 4 year college degree. You don’t get any more retirement income over 80% for any extra years worked after maximum 35 years of service.

    But Justin seems hell bent that it is unthinkable to be retiring at an age lower than the age you start to collect your social security.

    By the way Justin, I retired when I turned 61 and moved out of Rhode Island saving myself over $124,000 in RI living costs because in my new state it is $15,500 per year cheaper to live than back in RI.

    • Warrington Faust

      Guest, when private industries offered pensions you became “eligible” after 20 years. If you took it after 20 years, it was negligible; quite a few more years were required for it to amount to anything. The railroad unions had cooked a better deal, but gave up social security. We all seem to forget that the military offers a very good 20 year deal.

      • Mike678

        50% of base pay at 20 years for the military. 80% after 20 is way too much–and as others state, unsustainable.

        It used to be generous pensions offset small salaries, but that went out the window 20 years ago. Now we have generous salaries and outrageous pensions.

    • ShannonEntropy

      … By the way Justin, I retired when I turned 61 and moved out of Rhode Island saving myself over $124,000 in RI living costs because in my new state it is $15,500 per year cheaper to live than back in RI.

      … Thus proving Justin’s point that the current public unions’ defined benefit retirement system is ultimately unsustainable

      Care to stick around and prove any more of Justin’s points, Guest ??

      • Guest

        @ShannonEntropy

        Back in the good old days I worked for three private
        companies that offered defined benefits retirement after 20 years of service with employee contribution which the company match. This was long before 401Ks were
        established. I didn’t retire from any of the companies but was hired by a municipality which I left to work for the State of Rhode Island which I left to go back working for private business paying more money for same work which I left
        taking a Federal position paying far more money which I left being recruited back into State of Rhode service to manage a federal program.

        I only worked for State of Rhode Island 17 years total for
        which I receive $1,084 pension per month and even though I fully retired at age 61 I didn’t start collecting my RI retirement pension till age 65 because I didn’t need the money which is why I have not started to collect my federal
        pension and social security till age 70 which will push me into a 6 figure retirement annual income.

        You are confusing my $15,500 per year annual cost of living totaling $124,000 savings by moving out RI instead of staying in RI with retirement income. It doesn’t prove any of Justin’s point that the current public unions’ defined benefit retirement system is ultimately unsustainable.

        Please care to tell me how unsustainable my 17 year RI retirement income of $1,084 per month is.

        • ShannonEntropy

          My assumption was that you worked to get a gum·mint pension, running up your property and income taxes in the process … then cashed out and moved to a lower-taxed State, leaving us Rhodents behind to pay your bills

          … and it sounds like I guessed correctly

      • Tommy Cranston

        “ultimately unsustainable”
        That’s a joke. They’re unsustainable right now. That’s the only reason we saw the CF bankruptcy, the 2011 pension half reform and Providence/Cranston cops and firemen giving up their COLA’s for a decade-which compounded is about a 40% benefit cut over 10 years. The money HAS run out. Present tense not future.

        • ShannonEntropy

          The money HAS run out. Present tense not future.

          Not *entirely* Trve

          The pension fund in my home town of Warwick, fer ex, is well-funded at present. Altho how long that will remain trve is anyone’s guess

    • Max

      By the way guest, my unionized appliance repairman for a major corporation father worked 25 years before taking a forced medical retirement from the company and he gets peanuts for a pension. I’m not sure what ‘private business world’ you’re referring to.

      • Guest

        @Max

        See ShannonEntropy above reply.

  • Tommy Cranston

    “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.”

    and municipal employees.
    But—why should it not be thus?
    The majority of this state has re-elected the same corrupt party for over EIGHTY YEARS consecutively.
    Do they not richly deserve their fate?

  • JT

    Remember that great quote? “Socialism works great until you run out of the others guys money” . A state where MOST people work for the government can only be socialist – RI. High taxes has caused this effect in RI.

  • Audrey

    Can the math be correct? $51.1 million divided by 200 equals $255,000.

    • Justin Katz

      Yes. You next have to divide by the number of years they’ve collectively been retired.

  • Warrington Faust

    A history lesson from before pensions and social security. I remember a professor discussing “investment clubs”. Apparently people pooled their funds into mini mutual funds. Perhaps I am too much of a Randroid, but I have difficulty with the whole concept of a pension. Give me the money now!

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