State Employees Keep Collecting Double

MacIver News Service | December 17, 2012

[Madison, Wisc…] An audit released last week by the state’s Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) confirmed that “double dipping” by state employees continues to be widespread.

Between January 2007 and December 2011, more than 5,000 employees ended one job in state or local government and started another, all while collecting Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) annuities at the same time.

According to the report, 2,793 such employees were hired by the UW system or other state agencies during that span, and 2,599 local government and school district workers rejoined the public workforce.

The report also found that state workers who were re-hired while collecting payments from the WRS were largely working fewer hours (79 percent) than before, and 8.3 percent were making higher wages.

41 percent of school district employees worked fewer hours following their re-hire, and 73 percent of local government workers were clocking in less.

In its audit, the LAB recommends that the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) develop written procedures for conducting investigations to determine if good-faith terminations from employment had occurred.

When the legislature reconvenes in January, several options to address double dipping can be considered–including longer wait periods for re-hires and restrictions for WRS employment.