Lois Lerner's $50,000 Pension

Carol Platt Liebau

9/24/2013 9:55:00 AM - Carol Platt Liebau

It's good to be a government employee.

Anyone willing to be honest with him- or (her-) self pretty well knows by now that, if what has been reported is true, Lois Lerner has violated the trust placed in her as a top official at the IRS -- to put it mildly. To put it somewhat less mildly, she has been credibly accused of acts that are wrong, and likely illegal. Even the ranking Democrat on the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, Elijah Cummings, has called for her termination.

You and I, American taxpayers, have been paying her salary for the last few months as she has sat home on paid administrative leave.

Now, she has resigned. And she is set to keep a very generous pension. Notwithstanding any wrongdoing and every breach of trust, according to calculations performed by the UK Daily Mail, she's set to collect more than $50,000 yearly:

The Office of Personnel Management provides 1.1 per cent of a retiree's salary for every year worked, provided he or she is a 20-year veteran who is at least 62.

Lerner's base pension would be be calculated based on what she earned, on average, during the past 36 months.

According to the Federal Election Commission, Lerner joined its General Counsel’s Office in 1981, and was appointed in 1986 to head the agency's Enforcement Division.

'Prior to joining the FEC, she was a staff attorney in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice,' the FEC said in a 2000 news release.

It's not clear when she first came to work at the DOJ, or what her annual salary was.

But if she were in the middle of the senioer-level 'GS-15' earning scale and worked just one year in the DOJ as a staff attorney before joining the FEC, she would collect 1.1 per cent of $140,259 for each of 33 years -- for a total of more than $50,900 per year in taxpayer dollars.

If Lerner's position as a top IRS enforcer were to place her in a special 'law enforcement officer' retirement category, that amount would jump to over $61,700.

In 2010 the U.S. median personal income was just over $29,000.

Lerner will receive 50 percent credit for any unused sick leave she has accrued, according to an attorney at the Office of Personnel Management.

She could also seek other full-time employment in a law firm or an advocacy group, and still keep her government pension as a secondary source of income.

One needn't be a small-government conservative to find this abuse of the taxpayer -- heaped on the other alleged abuses Lerner committed of law-abiding conservative taxpayers -- infuriating.

Lois Lerner should be fired and stripped of her pension. Any other outcome shows that the administration couldn't care less about the deliberate, systematic mistreatment of Americans who simply disagreed with the Obama White House.