Editor’s Note: Public service pays off for pols
A short line in a story about Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s financial disclosure filing jumped right off the page. It said Stabenow, who earns $174,000 as a U.S. senator, also collects $67,000 a year in pension benefits from her time in the Michigan Legislature.
That’s not a bad reward for just 15 years service. Although Michigan no longer offers pensions to new lawmakers, there are still scores of former legislators who are lapping up the gravy. The same article reports Michigan’s junior senator Gary Peters gets a $42,000 pension for eight years in the state Senate and five as lottery commissioner.
As generous as those retirement benefits are, they’re made even more so by the fact that the retired lawmakers don’t have to wait until they’re 62 or 65 to collect them, as do most of their constituents in the private sector lucky enough to have pensions.
It gets even better. They also get health care if they retired from the Legislature before 2013 and are over age 55.
Next time you hear these guys yapping about the 1 percent, remember that they are a member of a very unique class with privileges even the wealthy would envy.