Rep. Stroebel Moves to End ‘Double Dipping’

MacIver News Service | September 16, 2011

[Madison, Wisc…] If you are covered under the Wisconsin Retirement System, and you retire, you begin drawing a pension.  However, some government employees in Wisconsin then reenter the workforce and collect both pension and salary.

One Wisconsin lawmaker wants to put an end to this practice, which is commonly referred to as ‘double dipping.’

Rep. Stroebel

Representative Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) first became aware of the problem when he sat on the Cedarburg School Board.  He recently finished drafting a bill eliminating double-dip retirement, which is currently being circulated for co-sponsors.

“When you decide to un-retire and take a job with another Wisconsin Retirement System employer for more than halftime, then your pension should be abated for that time,” Stroebel told the MacIver News Service as he explained his bill.  “When you re-retire, you’re pension starts back up again.”

Stroebel said double dipping strains the state’s retirement fund jeopardizes the fund’s stability.

“We’re very solvent and we take pride in that, but it comes at a price.  There’s a huge infusion of cash from taxpayers,” he said.

Although this practice has been going on for years, Stroebel believes there is more potential for abuse now that Act 10 is in effect.  Wisconsin teacher retirements doubled over the summer, as teachers sought to dodge making pension and health insurance contributions under the new law.

Stroebel told the MNS the bill does not seek to punish retirees, but only to ensure they are actually retired if they are drawing a pension.

“It pretty much says when you’ve retired, great.  Enjoy your retirement.  Enjoy your pension,”  Stroebel said. “You’ve earned it.”

However, Stroebel says his bill enhances the solvency of the WRS and allows other residents a better chance to begin a new career in Wisconsin public service.