Doing a Job on the State
James Cournoyer, of North Smithfield, gets to the heart of the matter (after noting that public employees are paid workers, not volunteers):
… a public employee who starts working at age 25 with a $30,000 salary and annual raises of 3.25 percent will contribute $74,425 to the pension system over 20 years, assuming a contribution of 9 percent of his annual salary. Then, at the tender age of 45, that employee can begin collecting a pension equal to 50 percent of his highest five years that will grow by the almighty “cost of living” adjustment every year for 30 years, assuming a life expectancy of 75. Thus, the employee who contributed a mere $74,425 to the system will receive payments totaling $1,230,000 if he receives annual 3 percent cost-of-living adjustments. This is unsustainable, unfair and unacceptable.
Plowing streets and answering 911 calls entitles Hanson to a paycheck. It does not entitle Hanson to early retirement on the backs of his neighbors.