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No more double dipping

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Governor plans to eliminate practice

By Special to the Monitor

Gov. Bill Richardson today proposed reforms to the state’s return to work rules for retirees that will eliminate the practice known as “double dipping.”

Richardson calls on lawmakers to pass the reforms during the upcoming regular legislative session that begins in January.

“Earlier this year, I said that I wanted to see the rules allowing for double dipping changed. Unfortunately, the bill lawmakers ultimately sent me raised serious legal issues and I had no choice but to veto it,” Richardson said. “I moved forward by ordering a thorough review of our return to work rules to analyze their costs, effectiveness and fairness. Today I am proposing responsible reforms that will save the state millions of dollars as well as address concerns of fairness and employee morale.”

Richardson is urging lawmakers to pass the following changes that could save the state as much as $7 million:

• No employment by a PERA member employer within 12 months of retirement, this includes contract employment;

• No PERA retirement payouts while collecting a paycheck;

• Eliminating employer retirement contributions for retirees who return to work, and  

• The changes would not retroactively affect the more than 500 state employees or 1,600 county and municipal employees currently considered double dippers.