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16/06/2021

Fancy a part-time job paying $200,000?

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The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has made international news by advertising a part-time job in Pennsylvania, the USA, that comes with a whopping salary of $200,000!

Over two dozen of SEPTA staff who recently retired were asked to rejoin the company again on an all-time high six-figure salary being used as a lure. Officials of the regional public transportation organisation described the position as ‘interim‘, but it could benefit pensions.

According to a report, the local authority has put 26 employees as ‘part-time pensioners’ on the company’s payroll at the end of the last financial year. SEPTA’s head of marketing and revenue unit has also joined the company in a transitional position, hired back by SEPTA on the same job but this time earning $200,000 per annum.

A spokesperson from SEPTA, Andrew Busch, said that this practice was started way back in 2013 and had “nothing to do with the current pandemic“. The policy ensured that experienced and capable employees’ retirement would not disturb the company’s complicated and often lengthy projects.

He continued, “They’ve retired, but they’ve been brought back because of their expertise. It really that simple”. He also mentioned that the part-time pensioners are appointed to tackle staff shortages so that the scheduled projects are not disturbed at any cost.

Pennsylvania has the twenty-fourth highest per capita income in the United States of America. Its personal per capita income is $36,998, the sixteenth highest in the United States.

Economics Professor, Robert Strauss, said that this is a controversial arrangement in the public finance sector as the senior retired employees will benefit from a tax-free pension. The Professor added that turning to part-time work after retirement is a sensible option. He continued, “The dual benefit is good for the economy“.

Inexperience and staff shortages cost SEPTA millions of dollars in lost revenues during the last financial year. Records show, five ex-workers were recalled from retirement and paid $100,000 each for part-time work in 2020.

Dennis Hiller, SEPTA’s former marketing executive, was paid more than $229,000 in the last calendar year, which was about 3 to 4 times the average remuneration SEPTA employees receive. His job is to oversee Revenue, Advertisement and Sales at the agency. He is also a part-time worker.

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