Common Council votes to put limits on "double dipping"

The Milwaukee Common Council Thursday voted to put limits on rehiring retired workers in an attempt to end "double dipping," when workers retire, collect a pension, and then get rehired at the same salary they had before. It's a move many say will save taxpayer money, but there's some disagreement about how effective the new ordinance will be.

Alderman Jim Bohl introduced the ordinance that was passed Wednesday, and imposes restrictions on city retirees who come back to work in the same department, on service contracts. Alderman Terry Witkowski was the only alderman to vote against this measure.

The new measure states that if a retiree is hired back, the combined total of their pension and the new city contract cannot amount to more than what the employee earned before they retired. Some call collecting a pension and being on payroll through a new city contract "double dipping," but Alderman Witkowski says those who have earned a pension should be allowed to collect.

"As we consider employing a person, we are not allowed to consider arrest records, but we're allowed to hold it against a person if they get a pension? Is there something dishonorable in getting a pension? There hasn't been in the past," Alderman Witkowski said.

Alderman Bohl says the measure will discourage employees from retiring simply to collect their pension, only to be hired back.