A new state law approved in 2012 caps at 15 percent overtime pay that can be used to boost a pension — to rein in massive pension padding. But workers hired before 2012 can apply substantial OT to inflate their final salary and pensions.
A Nassau County watchdog blamed lax overtime rules for the county police department’s gold-plated pensions. He said officers also get a lump-sum payment of $100,000 when they retire.
“The contracts give away the store,” said George Marlin, a former board member of the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority. “The cops get away with murder out there.”
Marlin says the pension and OT rules are outdated and unsustainable. He said police officers often retire in their 40s after 20 years on the force and then can live for another 40 years or more.
“Is it fair for the average guy making $50,000 a year to pay for someone else’s $100,000 retirement benefit who starts a second career?” he asked. “It’s an outrage. It’s an archaic system and no one has the will to change them.”
The Empire Center’s E. J. McMahon said the higher salaries that suburban cops get compared to New York City officers factors into the higher pensions. But he noted that is offset somewhat by a $12,000 supplemental pension that city cops get on top of their regular pension, which is about 50 percent of final salary.
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