Sacramento Transit Official Gets Pension That Exceeds Federal Limit

Mike Wiley, who is retiring next month as general manager of Sacramento Regional Transit (RT), is eligible to collect a pension of $278,000 per year, despite a federal limit that should cap his pension at $210,000.

The pension will be $48,000 a year higher than Mr. Wiley’s current salary, The Sacramento Bee noted.

“How can an employee earn more sitting at home than going to work? And more than Internal Revenue Service limits?” The Bee asked. “The answer lies in a little-publicized pension supplement RT has made available in recent years to a few top officials.”

The agency allows some employees to draw on pensions that make use of supplemental payments to exceed the federal limits. Mr. Wiley’s arrangement was approved in 2008. The RT system has had financial difficulties in recent years, using reserves for three years in a row to cover for an imbalanced budget. “RT raised rider fares 10 percent on Friday, making its buses some of the most expensive to ride in the country,” The Bee noted. “It laid off 20 management and administrative employees last month.”

The newspaper noted that some observers suggested the pension deal “could cast a shadow over Measure B, a November ballot measure asking voters to raise the Sacramento County sales tax a half cent for transportation improvements, including transit.” (Source: The Sacramento Bee, July 3.)

California Tax Foundation   |   1215 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814   |   916.441.0490   |