The Los Angeles Times provides some more examples of how legislatures have allowed public pensions to become outrageous. In particular, note the state parole agent who retired at 52 and is now paid over $200,000 annually. The Governor of Wisconsin raised the right issue. He just did it in a really stupid manner.
Reporting from Sacramento—"Gilbert Robles retired as a state parole agent at age 53, able to collect a $101,195 annual pension — 94% of his final salary. Last year, six months after he retired, the Arcadia resident accepted a political appointment with the same agency that pays an additional six figures.
Scott Hallabrin took retirement as the top attorney for the state's ethics agency on June 29, 2009. The next day, he went back to the same post, as he prepared to watch his pension checks roll in on top of a salary.
Los Angeles school administrator Norman Isaacs got a 35% raise in 2006, the year before he filed for his public pension. The increase sharply boosted his retirement benefits.
Robles, Hallabrin and Isaacs acted within their rights under California's pension rules, which the Legislature's independent budget analyst recently described as "among the most generous in the country." That generosity comes with a price: The main pension system for public employees is expected to cost taxpayers $2.3 billion this year and has long-term obligations that it is $85 billion short of being able to fund."