More than 800 people double dipping on pensions

Double Dipping On Pensions & Salaries

Since last year, at least 849 people have gotten permission from the state to double dip on public pensions and their salaries from state or local governments.

Your tax dollars are paying for it.

The Empire Center, an independent think tank based in Albany collected the data for its “See Through New York” database.

If you're a government retiree under 65 getting a full pension and want to go back and work for the state or a local government, you are required to get a waiver if the job pays more than $30,000 a year. The "See Through New York" online database added new information about the hundreds of people who have requested waivers since 2016.

The database includes nearly 71-hundred requests going back several years.

67 requests are from Erie County employees and 15 come from Niagara County employees. Some people are listed more than once because once a request is granted, typically it's good for two years.

And once someone turns 65, they no longer need special permission to collect the paycheck and pension at the same time.

The Empire Center's Executive Director would like the state to stop granting waivers and explained the original intent of the waiver program over Skype on Monday.

"There are certain circumstances where it is hard to fill a job without going back to a retiree, and like any employer would in the private sector, you want to be able to incentivize the right person to do it. But these were set to be waivers to temporarily fill a position, and I'm sure that some of them do that, but we've also seen waivers that are awarded year after year and extension after extension, that allow people to keep earning both of their salaries and that's not what the waiver process was intended to do," said Executive Director Tim Hoefer.

The State Comptroller's office didn't have anyone available for us to interview Monday night, but told 2 On Your Side that in 2016, the office recovered more than $1.4 million from people who double dipped illegally without a waiver.

You can find out more about the program by contacting the State Comptroller's office.

You can search the list by name and agency.
 

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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