Retirees’ banked benefits cost Fresno County millions

Fresno County’s budget squeezed by retired workers cashing out.

By Kurtis Alexander

The Fresno Bee

April 8, 2012

Link: http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/04/08/2792325/banked-benefits-cost-millions.html

Excerpts:

  • Dozens of Fresno County government workers who retired last year collected a final check fattened with tens of thousands of dollars of extra pay for unused vacation and sick time. Four retirees collected more than $60,000 apiece.
  • More county employees will do the same this year.
  • According to county records, the county paid $5.1 million of unused vacation and sick time to retiring employees last year.
  • Former Social Services Director Cathi Huerta got the biggest payout last year: $66,495, according to the records. The year before, longtime public works manager Frank Fowler cashed out the most: $68,406.
  • Adding to the county’s expense, leave hours are often worth more when they’re banked since employees cash them out at their retirement pay rate, which is generally higher than in earlier years.

Commentary:

  • If an employee in the private sector asked their employer for the same deal, the employer would remind the employee that such employee should not be ashamed about seeking psychological treatment.
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