Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Nashville’s Double-Dippers Collect Pension, Pay

It pays — twice — to be a recently retired employee of Metro Nashville.

The local government is paying about 200 people both for part-time work and monthly pensions, with double-dippers collecting up to $13 million from taxpayers.

Metro is paying $5.8 million every year in pensions to almost 200 people who are also being paid to work part time, up to another $7 million, according to 2021 pension records provided to OpenTheBooks.com and Metro 2022 payroll records posted on its website.


Of the 197 part-time workers collecting pensions, 74 work for the police department, collecting an average pension of $35,352 and $38,602 pay, or $73,954 average total, according to Metro payroll records.

Terry Lee Miller has the largest pension at $89,220, on top of $41,309 as a part-time “technical specialist 2,” taking home $130,529.

Another 58 people work for the sheriff’s office, collecting an average pension of $22,956 and about $33,774 pay, or $56,730 average total, according to the records.

Metro payroll records show that the highest paid sheriff’s office employee, John F. Taylor, Jr., is making about $76,000 as a part-time program coordinator, while collecting $65,388 in annual pension checks, a hefty total at $141,388.

Davidson County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Jonathan Adams said employees collecting both a pension and part-time pay are part of a program called STEP, or Start Enjoying your Pension, that lets workers to take their pensions and continue working up to 19.5 hours/week at their hourly rate.

“The program is a win-win-win for all involved,” Adams said. “The pensioner doesn’t lose their identity and half their salary taking retirement, while the agency keeps the institutional knowledge and continued return on investment for that employee. The taxpayers benefit/save from transferring half the cost of the salary and all benefit cost (which has already been earned/funded) to the pension fund. The STEP program saves our operating budget over five million dollars annually, and is a fantastic use of resources.”

However, this comment completely disregards the massive taxpayer cost of funding such a lucrative retirement pension for Metro employees – that allows a young, fully functioning employee – at the peak of their career – to retire on a golden parachute.

Think about the absurdity:

200 city employees double-dip the pay and pension systems. They retire on a full pension and get hired back part-time – at their full-time wage scale. Therefore, they get a pay raise to retire – with many making more working half-time in ‘retirement’ than they did at any point in their full-time career!

The mayor, city agencies, and city council need to examine their processes for negotiating public union contracts, and work to ensure proper allocation of taxpayer funded spending.

The #WasteOfTheDay is brought to you by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com

This article was originally published by RealClearPolicy and made available via RealClearWire.