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Thursday, January 30, 2020

Double-dipping

Is double-dipping becoming more common? I have a few former bosses/colleagues that have retired from one national lab, with full pensions, and gone on to start new jobs at other national lab. They are all over 65. Used to be guys left at 60-62. Was wondering if this is becoming a trend, particularly with baby boomers who want to keep working.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

After the transition to LANS, many people retired from UC but kept their jobs. Initially, we all thought only essential, rare talent would be allowed to do that.
It turned out that even dead wood with good management sycophant skills got to do that. I thought this cannot happen with a private company whose intended goal was to save LLNL money!

Anonymous said...

“Management sycophant skills” should be on a job listing.

Had a boss at LLNL who was retiring. He came to my office and was pissed that the division was not going to hire him back. Had some harsh words for the diction leader who rejected his request. Eventually he went to LANL for his second salary. Thought it was strange.

Anonymous said...

At the LANS transition, anyone who qualified for UC retirement, no matter what their age, got to choose that and stay with LANS. Lots of people just barely over 55 years old did that. Not "dead wood" but highly experienced and highly capable employees. Get over yourself.

Anonymous said...

LANL hired 1,398 people last year. Only 442 retired. Double dippers are working overtime to train all those new hires!

Anonymous said...

. Lots of people just barely over 55 years old did that. Not "dead wood" but highly experienced and highly capable employees. Get over yourself.

1/30/2020 5:17 PM

For many this was true, however there was plenty of dead wood.

Anonymous said...

The term “double-dipping” here seems to have some connotation of unfairness, that a retiree is doing something morally wrong by getting both a pension and a salary from the same workplace. I don’t see it that way at all. The retiree is getting the pension that he or she worked for. And he or she is also getting a salary that is the result of additional work. What’s the problem?

Also note that the pension income on top of a salary that a so-called double-dipper has coming in doesn’t go as far as it would if the person were fully retired because the pension income is taxed at a higher marginal tax rate.

BTW, I’m retired from LLNL on TCP1 and declined an opportunity to go back to work at the Lab part-time. I’m enjoying retirement and wasn’t interested in trading my free time for a part-time salary that would be taxed at a high marginal tax rate due to my pension. I can only conclude that most retirees who go back to work at the Labs do so not so much for the money but because they want to work.

-Doug

Anonymous said...

"Is double-dipping becoming more common?"

Yes many LLNS employees took TCP2 and double dipped at the 2007 transition. That was allowed. Upon retirement though, all of them were subject to having their thousands of hours of accrued sick disappear without the TCP1 sick leave conversion to service credit. How did many LLNS TCP2 employees address this problem? Once those TCP2 employees approached their planned retirement date, they addressed the problem by rapidly consuming sick leave days before or after vacation days, or by frequently taking 3 days of sick leave week after week to not trigger a doctors note for the sick leave usage. If you were a "good old boy", LLNS looked the other way. If you weren't, your sick leave usage was micromanaged with scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

"Also note that the pension income on top of a salary that a so-called double-dipper has coming in doesn’t go as far as it would if the person were fully retired because the pension income is taxed at a higher marginal tax rate."
Give me a break!

Anonymous said...

The Domenici clause created a unique opportunity for a certain demographic at the two labs. I am not part of that cohort, yet I don’t begrudge their flight with the bluebird of happiness. If one was in their upper 50s or more at transition, it was an obvious choice.

Anonymous said...

Yes it was obvious. And I took it as soon as I figured it out. Who is to blame? Why does there have to be blame? UC was very generous with its pension. The follow-on contractors (LANS and LLNS) were very generous in their offers of employment to existing UC employees because whether or not those those employees were getting UC pensions mattered not all to them, only whether the employees were valuable and willing to work for the new contractor. There is no blame or wrongdoing here, just an opportunity in an employment transition that benefited some people, it happens all the time in the real world.

Anonymous said...

Yup, there are always winners and losers. I recall that the last time there was a buyout (around 2008, I think?) in order to reduce the workforce, that there were some people who were in the lucky position of already having plans to retire anyway, so the buyout offer was a big cash windfall for them. On the other hand, there were a lot of other people who involuntarily lost their jobs in the RIF.

In the case of the contractor change and TCP1 and TCP2, for the lucky ones who were already close to or above retirement age, the decision was a no-brainer. For most people, though, the decision was an agonizing one. I had a difficult time deciding, too. One thing that influenced my decision was that I heard a rumor that George Miller had said that he was concerned that many employees were making the wrong choice with their TCP1 versus TCP2 decision. I thought about it some and guessed which choice he thought was the proper choice.

-Doug

Anonymous said...

" Once those TCP2 employees approached their planned retirement date, they addressed the problem by rapidly consuming sick leave days..."

I was in that class of folks. After the transition I did use up a lot of sick leave. Knee surgery, heart attack and a back injury that happened at work and I still had a bunch on the books that went poof when I walked out the door.

So not everyone was bending the rules.

But if you want to see rules bent, see how many people who are elected to Washington DC offices who are not millionaires when the entered but are when they leave.

Anonymous said...

Subbing billions for millions, one can only wonder if 2/02/2020 2:05 PM has someone in particular in mind.

Anonymous said...


A few more facts to add to this discussion:

1. UC/ LLNL Employees hired BEFORE Jan.1 1990 were FULLY vested in the UC Pension and retiree health care plans after 10 years of service. I was hired in 1986 therefore I was FULLY vested in the UC plan by 1997, a full 10+ years before the ill fated transition.

2. I chose TCP2 as I was already at UC retirement age. It was a no brainer to take my UC pension, work another 10 years and bank the money, as well as, LLNS offered me a generous 9% matching 401K.

3. If you all remember there were certain employees who were exempt from the Black Thursday perp walk layoff. I was one of those, as our management had already cut our group to the bone. They prepared and positioned this transition a full year before it took place, by laying off contractors, of which our group had 3, we were now down to 2 FTE's thus we had exempt status. Cant run a group with 1 FTE.

4. Neither I nor my peers created these rules or this situation. Management did. This is what they offered, I made a choice and took the money put up with all the Bechtel corrupt BS shenanigans for another 10 years and ran.

Never looked back and couldn't be happier.....So long suckers......Good Luck.




Anonymous said...

2/08/2020 2:51 PM

Bravo for doing the right thing for you and your family!

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