Thursday, April 21, 2016
The Rules About "Double Dipping" For Public Employees.
Last week, the City Comptroller, Scott Stringer, identified 11 TRS members who were caught "double dipping". That is getting a City pension while working a new City or State job. The rules about working for another City or State public agency while receiving a pension is very clear. Let's go over them.
A City or State public employee of New York State can only make up to $30,000 while still receiving his or her full pension. Otherwise, any amount over $30,000 (for people receiving a disability pension the income limit is $1,800) must be reduced by lower pension payments to the retiree on a dollar to dollar basis. That means for every dollar over the limit, the pension payment is reduced by that amount. This applies to all retirees who have not reached the age of 65.
A pensioner who reaches the age of 65 has no such income limitations when it comes to another public service job in New York State while receiving their full pension.
For hard to fill positions, there is a two year waiver to the income limitations that can be renewed and according to one report from the Empire Center the public sector in New York State has approved over 7,000 such waivers to the income limitations. and have repeatedly renewed the waivers once the two year period ended.
Once a retiree is found to have exceeded the income limitation, the agency must demand a refund for the pension over payments or face prosecution. In one such case a Suffolk County Police Detective Sargent was found to owe $450,000 in pension over-payments when he failed to report his job to the pension agency for years.
There is no income limitation if the retiree works in private industry since it is not considered "double dipping". This includes working in another State[s, public or private sector
The bottom line, unless you are 65 years of age or older know the rules about income limits about working for public service in another position. You might be working for free if you make over $30,000 for the year.