A Question on Pensions
I actually agree with former Johnston Policewoman Michele Capelli’s lawyer that the town has no right to demand that she repay a disability pension excess that was given to her erroneously — much less simply remove it from her bank account — unless there was some criminal activity involved in giving her the money in the first place. Johnston should improve its system for tracking such things and move on from here.
But the same article gives some information for which, I realize, I’ve no basis to know how to feel:
As of June 30, 2009, the town had 27 disabled retirees earning an average monthly disability pension of $3,088, according to records.
An average of $37,000 per year isn’t all that much, assuming the retirees aren’t actually receiving the money as gravy on top of other income, and we should definitely provide for public servants who are hurt in the line of duty. But is that number of retirees high? I don’t know. Compared with my own experience in construction, it certainly seems like a lot of people to be paying for not working, but I wonder if a study has been done of other Rhode Island towns as well as municipalities in other states.
That’s really the relevant question, and it seems like the sort of thing that somebody in the press, the government bureaucracy, or a think tank should be concerned about. Oh, to have a think tank’s resources!