Lately I've read several articles and "opinions" pertaining to the retirement benefits of public safety persons. Our local paper, "The Times" have featured articles bashing public safety retirement benefits.
The articles really haven't specified if it was CALPERS (California Public Employees Retirement System) or the 1937 Retirement Act which some California Counties still use.
For those of you not familiar with the Public Safety retirement in California it goes basically like this.... 3% @ 50. This formula is at age 50 (if you plan on retiring at that age) they take the number of years worked (usually using your single highest year) and multiply that by 3. The result equates to what percentage you'll receive of your "full time" income.
So I'm leaning more toward the articles relating to the 1937 Retirement Act because CALPERS has a 90% cap on their retirement benefit.
With the 1937 Retirement Act, you can have a Law Enforcement Officer retire out in excess of 100% of his or her salary. It's basic mathematics here... how can a retirement system sustain itself when people can make more money retired than when they were working full time???
Of course the author(s) of the article(s) from what I've read has never distinguished which retirement system they're writing about. So much for unbiased journalism (and you thought cops were bad!). What a way for these "unbiased, truth seeking" journalist(s) to get the uninformed public on their side to have our "lucrative" retirement scrutinized.
My brother-in-law has the same uneducated view, but hey, he doesn't really work anyway.
To those of you doubting ninnies out there, think about it. I didn't pick this profession for the retirement and I won't argue with you that it is a great retirement, but you chose what ever line of work you do and the benefits which come with it. What other profession in this world other than the military does one's occupational hazard include being killed by some other person?
I chose this profession because I truly felt that I could make a difference out there. And if during my years of service I've only changed the life of one person then it has been worth it. This profession over the years takes its toll on your body. Years of working shift work, holidays worked, family time missed, and sometimes even mandatory overtime due to being understaffed. All of this not to mention the personal toll which many Officers pay for dealing with the scourge of society, those in dire need and even some of the horrific things we experience.
How many of you would chose a profession which has a higher divorce and suicide rate of the general public?
For the doubting ninnies, how much is your life worth to do the job which all of us working the "thin blue line" risk daily? And to be middle aged, which I am, and chasing thugs half my age who often don't just say "Uncle" and give up without a fight?
Let me put it this way, when you're getting the shit kicked out of you, would you want an old cop holding on to the magic age of 65 or 70 to collect his social security benefit to save your ass? My guess is NOT.
And if that (those) jealous, pansy journalist(s) is (are) reading this, GET A CLUE. Oh and try something which has gone to the wayside in your line of work..... ETHICAL UNBIASED REPORTING, now there's a concept.
Be thankful there are people like us in this world to protect you from those which would prey upon you and yours. Let "us" get away from the often thankless things we do daily. Let "us" have our peace in retirement. Allow "us" to enjoy and experience what you have never had to sacrifice.