Letters to the Editor

Recalculate officials’ retirement benefits

Once again, the loopholes in government retirement systems come back to bite the taxpayers. To calculate employees’ retirement benefit by taking a large percent of the salary of the last year worked is ludicrous.

For instance, police and firefighters are allowed to work ridiculous overtime hours during their last year before retirement, bumping up their retirement calculation by as much as 100 percent annually. We recently read about former Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones, who was removed from office, without pay, in 2009. In 2011, she was reinstated with back pay for the two years she didn’t work, boosting her last year’s salary to more than $230,000. When she turns 55, she will receive over $127,000 per year for life.

How about a little common sense here? Why not make a reasonable change in retirement calculations: Use the average of the highest salary for three consecutive years?

Buddy Newman, Coral Gables