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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Will Legarde Do Anything About the IMF's Bloated Pensions?

Will Legarde Do Anything About the IMF's Bloated Pensions?

Wednesday, 29 June 2011 04:54

Just asking, and asking why no one in the media is asking. The Washington Post, NYT and other major news outlets have been running wild yelling about excessive public sector pensions. The median pension for a public sector worker is a bit over $20,000. In many cases this is their sole retirement income, since they are not covered by Social Security. The pensions of public sector employees has been the topic of numerous front page stories in major newspapers.

This is why it is striking that no one raised this question with the announcement that Christine Lagarde had been selected as the new director of the IMF. IMF economists are often able to retire with 6-figure salaries in their early 50s. This is likely to strike many people as unfair by itself, however it would seem especially inappropriate in an institution that has explicitly called for governments to raise the age of eligibility for much smaller pensions to 65 or even 67. 

And the strangest part of it all is that no one in media is even talking about it.

Comments (3)Add Comment
written by AndrewDover, June 29, 2011 7:13
IMF, World Bank, Congress, Pentagon, Fannie/Freddie, Influence peddlers; These are all reasons why Washington real estate bucks the national trend.

You might check the numbers for Illinois, for which the "typical SERS retiree who is not coordinated with Social Security" receives $2,251 a month or $27,012 a year.

Typical Illinois Monthly benefits

1,798 for SERS that are covered by SS
2,609 for SURS (university and colleges)
3,461 for TRS (Illinois public schools)
3,921 for GARS (legislators, state officials)
8,684 for JRS (judges)

crabs in a barrel
written by frankenduf, June 29, 2011 8:19
obviously divide and conquer propaganda- joe punchclock gets pissed when the teacher across the street makes more money, essentially having union envy without even knowing it- whereas nobody really empathizes with Lagarde- she probably lives in an ivory tower somewhere, crab-free
written by Asking Again, June 29, 2011 8:53
"The median pension for a public sector worker is a bit over $20,000."

You are trying to give the impression that this is the pension a public sector employee gets after 30 years of work, but you don't gice the supporting information that would establish this.

More likely, this is based on all employees who get pensions in including many who worked for only a few years in which case it is totally misleading.

If someone else wrote this, you would mercilessly jump on them for spouting distorted statistics and denying the reader the informatin needed to understand the statistice.

What we really need to know is:
1. How long has this median employee worked?
2. What is the median pension for a worker with 30 years of tenure?
3. Are there subclasses that get exorbitant pensions?

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.