The generous pensions given to government employees have been a hot topic of debate in recent years, but less attention has been given to the fact that some government retirees – including elected officials – receive more than one taxpayer-funded pension.
The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports: "Riverside County's elected officials and 2,000 other employees receive a supplemental retirement benefit — in addition to the pension contributions each receives through (the California Public Employees' Retirement System), county records show. The benefits generally are $100 a month and cost the county more than $2.5 million a year."
The county provides a $50 biweekly 401(a) contribution to elected officials and other employees. In general, a 401(a) plan is a retirement-savings account to which only the employer makes a contribution, as opposed to a 401(k), into which both the employee and employer make contributions.
The Sheriff's Department has the most employees (446) receiving the 401(a) contributions, a county spokesman said. The second highest number (346) work in the Human Resources Department. Other employees had their positions changed from union representation to at-will status and, as an inducement to make the switch, received more compensation through the 401(a) contributions.