Leave credit cash-out leaves CPO’s out of cash

Apr 8th, 2014 | By | Category: Budget, Employee Abuse, Furloughs & Layoffs, Spotlight
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Paco: Don’t sweat it,  KA-Ching at 50!

As usual, Corrections can't come up with any money to cash out CPO leave credits.  Other state employees are in line though.

As usual, Corrections can’t come up with any money to cash out CPO leave credits. Other state employees are in line though.

Some California state employees now eligible to cash out leave

By Jon Ortiz | Sacramento Bee
Tens of thousands of state workers stand to get extra money in the next couple months by cashing out some of their unused leave time – assuming the state can find money to cover it…

The payments, which could reach about one-sixth of the rank-and-file workforce, must be made from departments’ current funds by the end of June and will likely cost millions of dollars…

While the program will likely cost some departments big money up front, it saves even bigger costs down the line by reducing hours that their employees would cash out later at a higher pay rate when they quit or retire…

California owes billions of dollars to state employees for unused paid time off, a largely unseen burden that isn’t regularly tracked or reported statewide. Last year the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office said the state’s leave liability totaled $3.9 billion as of June 2012 – and it’s growing…

One group that isn’t included in the leave program: correctional officers, who as a group had the highest leave balances…

California Correctional Peace Officers Association spokesman JeVaughn Baker said the department has long been “running staff deficits” and is currently 2,000 officers short of what it needs for normal operations. The shortage makes it difficult for prison officers to take paid time off, he said…(Full text at Sacramento Bee)

As any retiree will tell you, that fat cashout check you get once the pin has been pulled is a bonus bonanza!

I know lots of you could use the cash now but, believe me, you’ll be happy you got the short end of the stick today, come tomorrow.   (Tell ‘em, Larry!) -

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8 Comments to “Leave credit cash-out leaves CPO’s out of cash”

  1. JC says:

    kl2008, thanks for the thoughts. As for the POFF comments by another commentator: I was content to leave it in there until I retired, but the state has shown itself to be very untrustworthy in regards to that fund. One can only hope they won’t renege ENTIRELY when I retire. I had money socked away, and then my family stripped it from me, one bs emergency after another. I am glad there are the 1 in 1,000 C/Os that are able to hang onto and manage their 457s, and I bitterly regret not being one of them. But LOL, I am neither dense, stupid, ignorant, or all three. I have adapted to the circumstances around me as best I can, and I want what I have coming, nothing more, nothing less. And the same opportunities as everyone else is included in that desire, whether I take the state up on their BS offer that they are offering every other state employee.

  2. LOL says:

    kl2008a, Don’t waste your time explaining it. COs want their POFF NOW, cash out balances NOW, sell their future NOW then they start begging people for hours and money when they need it and no explanation of the benefits of keeping their time and money are going to matter. I’ve come to realize that most of my fellow officers are dense, ignorant, stupid, or all three. There’s a couple who have 7 years in and over $100,000 in their 457 but you can count those on a couple fingers you don’t even need the whole hand.

    • kl2008a says:

      Thanks. I know that to many out there it may seem that I’m just running my jibs or pissing into the wind. To those I ask – do you remember, when as a kid, your Dad gave you advice which you laughed at and shunned, only to find out later in life that his advice was true and meaningful? Think about it!

  3. Bob Walsh says:

    My last months paycheck was over $100,000 due to cashout of my unused leave credits. It was very nice indeed. I paid off my mortgage and bought a new pickup truck.

    • Howie Katz says:

      So how much did they hold out for taxes? If they didn’t, Bob, I sure hope you’ve got enough left over to pay the tax guys.

      • Bob Walsh says:

        That was nine years ago, and I was seriously under-withheld. Fortunately I knew it, and put aside an extra 10K. I needed most of it.

      • FXSTC1 says:

        I made a big mistake when I got mine and thought it was already taxed. Did not claim it as income. Got the big demand from the IRS sometime later. Here is something interesting though. The department has audited my file twice since I retired. The first time they billed me because they claimed they over paid on medical insurance. The second time I got a nice check because they said I did not use all my furlough time.

  4. kl2008a says:

    Brothers and sisters in or aligned to BU6, don’t sweat it. Sure, everybody could use some extra bux right now but banking your leave hours is the best investment you could ever make. It even pays better than the banks and is safer (right now) than playing the market. Look at it this way. Every pay period you gain sick leave and vacation hours. Every year you earn more vacation hours than the last (until you hit to level). Add on to that your annual merit salary adjustments (again, until you top out). So let’s look at this realistically. You start as a fish CO making base pay and any hours you do not use gets carried over to the next year where you continue to earn more leave hours, only now those hours are valued at your higher pay scale and the cycle continues each year (again, until you top out, at which point the leave hours are valued at the top pay level). But let’s take this to another level. Suppose you get hurt OFF the job? You could be working around the house, or skiing, or just walking across the street and get hit by a car? You’ll need those hours to help sustain some form of income to pay your bills and feed your family. Sure, paycheck protection or other disability insurance (which I recommend) is a good investment to cover these types of things but they all have a waiting period and frankly, most of those waiting periods, and the time to process your app for benefits takes some time until you actually see a check, so you need a back-up plan. Now, let’s say you’re injured on the job and your employer disputes your claim. Can you hang without a check for 60-90-120 days while the system jerks you around? I know I couldn’t.

    The State has had this several times before (in the 70′s and 80′s). It only allowed you to “sell back” a portion of your vacation and/or holiday hour and it was geared towards November so the employees would get the checks (minus taxes and retirement contributions) just before Christmas – a mighty tempting proposal for someone who wanted to splurge or just didn’t sock enough cash away for the holidays.

    So basically what I’m trying to share with you all is that you make out by the State leaving you out of this program. Be extremely frugal with your use of hours earned, or in other words – don’t deplete your sick leave hours by calling in sick when you’re not really sick (yeah I said it, so kill me, but we all know someone who is a chronic sick leave user/abuser where they use their leave hours as quick (if not quicker) as they earn them. This old dinosaur liked to be like a little squirrel and save and protect my nuts from hard times. Do your 8 for the State, then hit the gate, and don’t be late. ALL be and stay safe. You want to be able to walk out under your own power at the end of your shift.