According to the article (http://bigstory.ap.org/article/private-lobbyists-get-public-pensions-20-states) at least 20 states — including New York and New Jersey — give full state pensions to private organizations who don’t work for the state (and in fact may lobby against state interests at times).
The rationale behind this largess is that the lobbyists represent associations of counties, cities and school boards. This perk was granted decades ago based “on the premise that they serve governments and the public.” In many cases the lobbyists also receive health care benefits.
Does this seem extravagant? Most states in our area are struggling to fund their pension obligations. Democrats and Republicans have acknowledged that more legislation designed to raise revenue is almost certain. In other words, higher taxes.
There are ironies galore in this story. One is that the very people who are advancing the idea of benefit cuts for other government workers are themselves enjoying a cushy pension. Another is that their salary increases are without state oversight. As their salary increases so too do their pension benefits.
How many people do you know today who have lifetime pensions? If you look at the statistics, it’s less than one out of 10 workers. Is there anyone lobbying for you to get lifetime retirement income?