Monday, February 15, 2010

Nashville Taxpayers shouldering high disability costs

Congrats to the City Paper on some great investigative journalism.

A City Paper investigation of Metro pension records and other publicly available information suggests Nashville’s disability pension numbers are highly unusual. There appear to be vast disparities in benefit administration between Nashville and other jurisdictions around the country. For example:

• Metro Nashville taxpayers shell out seven times as much each year on disability pensions as do citizens in comparably sized Providence, R.I., which had only 100 ex-city workers on disability (3.2 percent of total employees) and spent $1.6 million to cover them in the fiscal year ending mid-2007. It’s hardly as though Providence is widely seen as a national model for efficient public administration: Former long-serving Mayor Buddy Cianci went to federal prison some years ago for racketeering in a case that also led to convictions for eight other members of his administration.