This story from Philadelphia, which I saw on Reason’s Hit and Run blog, is one of the worst examples I’ve ever seen of government bureaucrats bilking taxpayers. The City Manager, who already receives an absurdly extravagant salary and hasn’t even been on the job for 2-1/2 years, was able to get a guaranteed $50,000 annual pension in exchange for a one-time cost of less than $125,000. Unless she is already in her 80s, that means she will get an astoundingly high rate of return. I’m too lazy to do any calculations (and I would need her age anyhow), but I’d be surprised if she’s not getting a 20 times higher return than the rest of us peasants are receiving on our IRA(s and 401(K)s.
Camille Cates Barnett will get nearly $50,000 annually from the city pension fund for the rest of her life after June 30, when she leaves her post as Philadelphia’s managing director after two years, five months, and 24 days. On the same day that a City Council committee moved to close the loophole that allows short-time employees such as Barnett to buy credit in the city’s pension fund based on public service elsewhere, the Board of Pensions and Retirement revealed that Barnett had done just that. Barnett has paid $122,303 to become vested in the pension plan, according to the Mayor’s Office and the Pension Board, a privilege unionized employees are entitled to only after serving five years. …Barnett could not be reached for comment Wednesday night. She previously declined to comment on her plans. Barnett’s salary this year is $181,693, making her one of city government’s highest-paid public officials. Mayor Nutter has not named her successor.