DO AS I SAY AND NOT AS I DO !

At the same time that Governor Jindal is supporting bills that downsize retirement benefits and increase contributions for every category of state employee he is secretly planning for his own retirement - after which he will move on to some other government retirement system while earning a monthly paycheck.

Retired teachers can no longer even substitute for one day without giving up their entire monthly retirement benefit for each month in which they substitute. This deprives children from having a qualified certified teacher in the classroom every day when their teacher is absent. It also prevents a teacher from applying her professional expertise in the employ of any state institute of learning K-12 through university level. In what other profession (engineer, architect, doctor, nurse. . .) does state law prevent them from consulting or working in any capacity part-time after retirement?

This blog was posted by Tom Aswell at http://www.Louisianavoice.org

New post on Louisiana Voice

Here’s a warm fuzzy for every state civil service worker: Jindal, buying air time to enhance his own retirement

by Tom Aswell

While he is asking state employees to contribute more, work longer and accept less in retirement benefits, Gov. Bobby Jindal has quietly filed application to purchase 2.2 years of service to beef up his own retirement benefits.

Papers filed on Jan. 4 with the Louisiana State Employee Retirement System (LASERS) to buy back the 2.2 years that would be added to his public tenure and thus, increase his public employee retirement benefits which are already based on a higher percentage than rank and file state employees.

State civil service workers presently get 2.5 percent of the averaged top three years of earnings times the number of years of service. Thus, an employee with an average income of $50,000 over three years who retires after 30 years would receive $37,500 in annual retirement income.

The governor, however, earns an additional one percent, or 3.5 percent of average income for top earnings for three years times years of service.

Moreover, while rank and file employees must work 30 years if they are 55 years of age or younger be becoming retirement eligible. The governor, lieutenant governor and state treasurer may retire at age 55 after only 12 years of service.

Jindal was appointed by then-Gov. Mike Foster as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) in 1996, a position he held until 1998. That same year he was appointed executive director of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare.

On March 5, 1999, he withdrew $15,252.46 in retirement funds from LASERS for contributions made from Jan. 9, 1996 through Feb. 16, 1998. The refund was apparently made while serving at Foster’s request as a volunteer to study how Louisiana should use its $4.4 billion share of the tobacco settlement.

Later in 1999, he was appointed by Foster as the youngest-ever president of the University of Louisiana System and in March 2001 he was nominated by President George W. Bush as Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Planning and Evaluation.

He resigned from that position in 2003 to make his first run for governor, a race that he lost to Kathleen Blanco and in 2004 he was elected to Congress where he remained until he won his first term as governor in 2007.

With the purchase of the 2.2 years, he now has a little more than 13 years as an elected and appointive official at both the state and federal levels and, provided he completes his term, will have 17 years of combined credited time on which to base his pension.

On his application form, Jindal listed among his state employment his service with DHH, the University of Louisiana System, governor and “teacher at LSU.”

Jindal has never taught at LSU.

A printout provided by LASERS shows that besides the $15,252.46 that he withdrew in 1999, he also owed interest of $26,923.89 through Jan. 4. The total due, if paid by Feb. 5, was given as $42,176.35. For the next 30 days after Feb. 5, the amount was given as $42,455.89 and $42,737.30 if paid after March 6.

The LASERS document noted that only the amount shown as “Refunded” ($15,252.46) would be credited to his account. Any interest payments are not credited and are not refundable in the event Jindal terminates state employment and requests another refund of contributions.

tomaswell | March 26, 2012 at 6:33 pm

THE HOUSE RETIREMENT COMMITTEE HAS 42 BILLS FOR CONSIDERATION AND THE SENATE RETIREMENT COMMITTEE HAS 53 BILLS FOR CONSIDERATION. You can find the bills for each committee listed by going to http://www.legis.la.gov and scrolling down the first page to the the BILLS SEARCH box and typing in Senate Retirement Committee or House Retirement Committee and click VIEW.

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