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Poll: Double Dipping for Public Employees: Damned If They Do?

It’s a widespread practice among public employees, retiring from a job and then picking up another position — and pension. Should it be allowed?

Should public employees be allowed to retire and then go back to work in the state system, collecting a new salary and a pension? The practice, known as “double dipping” is common in New Jersey, despite continual efforts to end the practice.

How do you feel about double dipping?

  • What's the problem? These people put in their time and paid into the pension system. If they were to get a job in the private sector, no one would blink an eye. There’s no reason to punish them just because they can find another public service job after they retire.

  • It's OK, but only if they don’t start building toward a second pension. One pension needs to be the limit.

  • This was a special category carved out for police officers and firefighters long ago, and legislators have not had the spine to stop it. Cops with high-profile positions often have an advantage getting a municipal job or they are well-known enough to be the frontrunner for an elected position. They can retire earlier than other public workers; then they are able to collect a high salary and a large pension. All sanctioned by the state. It's just not fair.

  • Close all the loopholes. When a person retires, that's it. If he wants to go back to any kind of public employment, he should have to give up his pension until he really retires. Retirement pay is supposed to be just that, for when a person is no longer working. No retirement pay until a person is fully retired. No exceptions.

  • The rules of the individual pension systems are too complicated to make a blanket “yes” or “no” decision on double dipping.

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