51 thoughts on “Forbes post, “No, Andrew McCabe isn’t ‘losing his pension'”

      1. Sessions fired him for cause. The guy is a multi-millionaire despite defrauding the public by employing his position for partisan political advantage. And I’m supposed to cry because he can’t retire on a maximum pension at 50, with expensive-to-the-public special top-offs? What have the likes of YOU done to makes such rip-offs possible?

  1. Federal law enforcement has a different pension system that allows to draw retirement upon turning 50. He would receive a significantly lower benefit, but not for 12 years, if he retired before age 50. And, I don’t believe he would have access to medical benefits. Your article is more misleading than saying he doesn’t get his pension

    1. It’s a disgrace that McCabe should have been able to retire at 50 in good health from an office job. And he was fired for good cause. Your eagerness that he further rip off the public is unseemly. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

      Are you planning a similar theft from the public fisk? Is that it?

  2. Instead of being envious of what federal employees get for pensions perhaps all workers should form a union and get good pensions themselves instead of just the CEO and shareholders profiting off the work of the employees. Without good hard-working employees the company would cease to exist so the employees should be paid fairly and get good pensions instead of the CEOs pocketing the lion share of the profit. I Really don’t understand why people get mad at government workers for having good pensions instead of being mad at the greedy CEOs

    1. The “greedy CEO’s don’t cost me nothin’ unless I agree to work for them. But crooks like McCabe send the IRS to sink their fangs into my bank account whether I agree to it or not. If you “can’t understand” the difference it’s because you don’t want to.

  3. I agree with Tyler. As a federal employee, we get a fair pension of 1% of average highest three salaries times number of years of service. Trump wants to eliminate major parts of this system to make it more like the private sector. Gov’t pensions should be seen as a model for what the private sector should do, not destroyed to match the stingy CEOs.

    1. Federal pensions are paid for by the taxpayers. Private pensions are paid for by the companies who sponsor them. Is it fair that government employees whose benefits are paid by the taxpayers get better benefits than the taxpayers themselves? Some equalization wouldn’t hurt.

      1. It’s not a matter of fair or unfair, you pay a totall compensation package that is high enough to get the employees you need and – theoretically – as low as you can get away with, while retaining and attracting these employees.

        It’s certainly arguable that governments at different levels have not been good stewards of the public purse and have paid more than they should, especially in benefits that must be paid long after the politicians approved them. But there’s no reason to think public and p rivaste employees would be paid the same for different jobs in different organizational structures even in a well run system.

      2. Why is the mentality I’m not getting mine so they shouldn’t get theirs? Wouldn’t it be more prudent to fight for the same or better retirement in the private sector? Isn’t the goal to go up and not down?

      3. This is a free country. You can can work for the employer of your choice, if you can qualify for the job. No one is entitled to “fair” benefits because another employer has a different benefit structure.

    2. You seem to have missed the fact that McCabe was going to do far better than that if they’s let him stall the effects of his malfeasance.

  4. The author Elizabeth Bauer started the article by saying “I’m not going to debate whether this was right or wrong”, but goes into her opinion on whether McCabe’s pension plan is overly generous. The only reason he was fired 26 hours before his retirement date WAS TO PUNISH HIM and to YES, take YEARS off his pension as DEFINED NOW. Skipping over whether it was “right or wrong” is being disingenuous to the topic. Can anyone or Bauer herself point our her article criticizing military retirement benefits where retirees collect IMMEDIATELY after retirement? So a person in their late 30s can collect a pension paid by US taxpayers. Let me be clear, I’m not against 20+ year military collecting early. But Bauer is using McCabe because teachers, civil workers, and in this case an FBI official because of conservatives who bend over for Trump, are easy targets. But show me where she says to change military benefits. Sometimes you just can’t skip over the right or wrong of a specific subject.

    1. He was fired because of violations of the FBI’s ethics and code of conduct. In other words, he was fired for misconduct. And no, he doesn’t lose his 401K or all of his vested retirement pension. What he lost is the ability to collect his pension for about 7 years – and even that is up for review. He can appeal that decision.

      As for military personnel collecting their retirement benefits immediately upon retirement it’s simple. That is how the retirement works for the military. We earn our retirement by putting our lives in danger when the country tells us to. One more point, if McCabe had been in the military not only would he have been courts-martialed for what he did, he would have faced losing all of his retirement benefits. I have seen senior enlisted personnel have their retirement held up so they could be court-martialed and then lost all of the pay and benefits.

      1. Fajita, you should come work for the Federal government, they’re hiring ! There are both good and bad parts to being a government employee; as Director McCabe just learned.

      2. pappymac, apparently you missed what the author was stating. Her complaint was about federal employee retirement benefits and how they are structured. So your statement “That is how the retirement works for the military.” can easily be used for the authors statement about McCabe. THAT IS HOW THE RETIREMENT WORKS FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES.” I’m pointing out her argument about them basically being too generous can be used for the military as well. Public service is public service son, and one can argue that military personnel should need to wait like “everyone else” in the private sector. What are you missing?

    2. OK, let’s not skip it. McCabe earned firing by multiple acts of “lack of candor”, i.e. lying. And it SHOULD cost him.

  5. Economic studies consistently find that federal employees enjoy both higher pay and substantially higher benefits than comparable private-sector workers. Government workers enjoy a wage premium compared to private sector worker and their pension income is 500% more than what private sector workers receive in social security income.

    1. Social Security is not a comparison for federal pension benefits. Everyone has a choice to work for an employer whether the federal govt or a private employer if they can qualify for the job. Everyone should research the benefits before taking a job.

  6. I worked from 18 through to 62 (my current age). The only “pension” I will get is Social Security (which I paid into all my life) and whatever I have saved. Lifetime health insurance? Due to the tenuous nature of my employment and Type 1 diabetes, I have been a single direct pay since 1996 (BEFORE Obamacare) and currently pay $847/month. And to top it off, my last job was 1099 contract (employer refused to do a contract on W-2), and my contract was terminated after only 5 months (right after my mom passed away and I was gone for 1 month).

    Reading articles saying McCabe would “lose his pension” only to find his “dilemma” is that he will have to “wait until 57”, but loses his lifetime health insurance on my dime as a taxpayer (this information was not from the article by Ms. Bauer, but from other articles over the weekend), only makes my head spin.

    I still think that Trump, Sessions, and the DOJ did this out of childish spite, and to discredit a witness in an investigation. How do you think we, the taxpayers, feel about this shell game from all sides? Disgusted is one word I can think of. This childish, vindictive administration, and the bureaucracy of our government has tainted everything.

  7. You neglect to mention that the employees pay extra for the special retirement and if they’re forced out early they don’t get that money back.

    1. Hmm, can I get the money back that I lost on my 401K from investments that were gamed by the government supported Wall Street crooks? Cry me a river.

    2. You neglect to mention what a good deal it is that they’re “paying” for. And that McCabe didn’t HAVE to lie and forfeit that sugar on top.

  8. This article was written by someone with no understanding of the federal retirement system. McCabe’s pension is specific to Law Enforcement Officers. ALL law enforcement officers, including local and state police, border patrol, etc. get fairly similar pension plans, also comparable to military pensions.

    Regular civil servants under the current FERS system referenced receive no pension, they get basically a “Thrift Savings Plan” identical to a 401k (matching contributions, pick your funds, retirement benefits based on fund performance).

    Regular civil servants have not had a pension since the old CSRS system.

    And Fajita Carmel- you tell me. What is the private sector equivalent of an FBI Deputy Director? There is none- law enforcement is an inherently governmental function, without which we would have no law and order.

    The anti-FBI bias here is ridiculous. If you’re part of the party that defends police officers, you’re oddly stupid about federal law enforcement ever since Hillarygate.

    1. ME, your comments are half right – and half completely wrong. In addition to the Federal 401K plan (Thrift Savings Plan) regular (non-law enforcement / firefighter) Federal civil servants absolutely DO get a fixed pension under FERS; 1% of high three salary for each year of work they did for the Federal government. Law enforcement personnel get their retirements calculated at a higher rate (1.7% per year for the first 20 years, and 1% afterwards) and get to take their retirements at an earlier age (50). Writing that “regular civil servants have not had a pension since the old CSRS system” is simply NOT TRUE.

  9. My husband and I are on Federal Retirement. She has grossly twisted the actual process and how federal retirement is calculated, when you can get it and how it can be taken away from you. Shame on all of you who support the actions by Sessions and Trump. As many have stated, this type of retirement is used for all government agencies and State and Local law enforcement. I am disgusted by her “I’m not offering an opinion” but hey….let’s punish him instead of looking closely at the illegal actions by Sessions, Trump and his Administration in this action. As for the person who ranted how he served in the military and put his life on the line so deserves more and screamed treason…..how incredibly ignorant not to know FBI and CIA agents work to protect our Country every single day of their career always knowing their lives are at risk. Shame shame shame.

    1. The nonsense level is high here. McCabe’s fast-tracked career hasn”t put him in the “line of fire” in a long time and the idea that his life has been at risk “always” is deranged.

  10. Seems to me the FBI has a more hybrid plan for retirement, more like the military (which at least I do know about). You serve your time and have to meet 20 years, you contribute to TSP, and you contribute to SSI so you get that when you are eligible. So although he will be able to keep the retirement portion he contributed to (without any match at any time) and SSI he loses the pension portion. So when they say he is “losing his pension” he is. So yeah….I’m guessing you don’t know what you are talking about and will need to edit this column. But who reads past a headline anymore anyway.

    1. Dunno how Social Security and the tax-advantage part of a TSP-equivalent don’t count as part of “the pension part” (so I dismiss anyway the claim that he “lost his pension”) but, just to be clear, you’re claiming that the FBI made no contribution to the monies that McCabe will receive, other than SSI? He’s just going to get SSI and do the equivalent of drawing down a 401(k) that contains only his contributions?

      1. Yeah, that no-matching bit was nonsense. See, “McCabe’s firing has no effect on his receiving his government 401K (TSP) contributions and 5% matching by the government for the 19 years and 363 days he was a federal law enforcement officer “, below.

  11. In order to lose his pension, McCabe would have to be convicted of a crime against the United States such as treason. See 5 U.S. Code § 8312 – Conviction of certain offenses

  12. I, for one, appreciate your cogent analysis. It’s food for thought outside of the noise of the partisan rabble.

  13. I did not read any article anywhere stating that McCabe was losing his pension. Every site (and I read plenty) said the firing was creating a huge obstacle and would *affect* his pension. That is exactly the case as stated by you. Rather than receiving his pension (which I believe is $60,000 a year) starting at age 50, he now needs to wait 7-12 years for it. You seem to think that’s no big deal. And on top of that he loses top tier status. How you can think this is no biggie is mind-boggling. I doubt you would have that viewpoint if it were you in that predicament.

    1. You must have been under a rock if you missed all the articles and chatter that said McCabe would lose his pension.

  14. Retirement is 20 years at 50
    or 25 years at any age. Is he vested? Yes. However, with the federal government if you’re even an hour short of meeting that 20 or 25 year mark you don’t receive your full retirement. This administration knew that and tried to screw this guy out of it.

    What’s with all the negativity toward federal retirement? Even this writer states that civil servants receive “low salary now, rich retirement benefits later”. Really? Earning 1% for each year of service is hardly “rich retirement benefits later”. AND you have to make that 20 or 25 year mark to get it. Can you live off of 20% of what you make now?

    Why are we always trying to get what others have as far as pay, benefits, and retirement taken away because we don’t have it? Shouldn’t we instead be saying we want that too so how do I get it? Misery loves company huh? Do we really want to be in a race to the bottom and not the top? Our mentality really needs to change.

    Get your facts straight and find out about federal retirement, specifically law enforcement retirement. Don’t just write some garbage off the cuff piece trying to turn it around on yet ANOTHER victim of this administration’s dirty dealings.

    1. You have a reading comprehension problem. The article stated “the rationale for these generous pension benefits” RATIONALE being the key word.

      In this day and age (and for the last 10-15 years) government public salaries are on-par or higher than the middle-class private salaries. Guaranteed COL raises, raising pay bands, etc… The private sector has seen many years of no raises and income stagnation.

      So yes, these pensions and retirement benefits for public employees (even police) that are paid for the shrinking middle-class are obscene.

    2. https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/fbi-scandal-over-andrew-mccabes-lost-pension-isnt-what-you-think/

      According to data the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which is part of the federal government, in 2016 the average federal employee earned $127,259 in total compensation, compared to $70,764 for the private sector. Meanwhile, federal workers enjoyed average annual benefits of $38,450, compared to average benefits in the private sector of just $11,306.

      In other words, the average federal employee earns 80% more than a private-sector worker. As we said, that’s a real scandal. Yet average Americans are supposed to shed tears for McCabe’s “lost” pension rights.

    3. It is simply false to imply that McCabe’s “full retirement” was 1% for each year of “service”.

      And he screwed HIMSELF out of his “full” extra-generous retirement by lying.

    4. Federal law enforcement officers receive 1.7% per year for their first 20 years of work, not 1%. After 20 years it drops to 1.1% per year until they retire (or are fired).

    1. Comey is 57, so he didn’t. So, did McCabe count as a LEO? Why would anyone make such a rule for a pencil-pusher like him? So he can start collecting retirement while merely changing jobs?

  15. Jim, nope, you’re incorrect. I’m a retired federal law enforcement officer. Federal law enforcement officers are required to retire by age 57, not 55.

  16. And for all, a more comprehensive answer. Federal law enforcement retirement after 20 years of service consists of three parts; your basic annuity (1.7% of pay for up to 20 years and 1.1% of pay for years after 20), plus an amount of $ equivalent to what you will receive in social security benefits from your federal pay at age 62 (that is paid by your agency until you actually qualify for social security), plus your government 401K (Thrift Savings Plan) that you can take out at age 59 /12 like anyone else without penalty, OR you can draw from early without tax penalty if you have it calculated as a lifetime annuity. While a federal employee, members can contribute up to $15,500 of their salary towards their 401K each year and the government will match 5% of that amount. Director McCabe’s firing has no effect on his receiving his government 401K (TSP) contributions and 5% matching by the government for the 19 years and 363 days he was a federal law enforcement officer. Still, I think he got screwed, and he will eventually prevail in getting his 20 year federal law enforcement retirement.

    1. Most of that is true, but there were two federal workers at the FAA that were fired about 8 years ago, one with 8 years and the 34 years of service, the got what they paid into FERS, not a retirement. They got what they contributed to there TSP and not the 5% and interest on that. I had to attend a briefing given by the Assistant US Attorney and this is what was said to us in the briefing. We were surprised that they got that, but I was told that if you got fired from a federal job, you could not go to work for the government again.

      1. Ed, From the Federal Times Newspaper (yes, there is actually such a publication)

        Q. Does a federal employee who was fired get to retain FERS defined benefit plan annuity and government contribution of TSP? Does it matter if the employee is fired for performance or conduct issue?

        A: Any employee who is fired, whether for performance or conduct, usually retains any entitlements he or she has earned up to that point in time. For example, if eligible for immediate retirement, the employee may retire. If the employee isn’t currently eligible but has the correct number of years of service, he or she can apply for a deferred annuity at a later date. However, if the conduct for which the employee was fired ended up with debts owed to the government, these could be recouped through liens against any retirement benefits or funds in the TSP. Only if the employee is subsequently convicted of crimes, such as treason, would all retirement benefits be forfeited. See 5 U.S. Code8311.

  17. This is what’s known as substantial performance. If I sold you a car and told you as long as you make monthly payments for a year, in December it’s yours, and then I said in November, “Deal’s off,” would that be allowed? No.
    Substantial performance doctrine prevents this. McCabe was never going to lose his pension. Even if they claim it’s for cause, unless there was substantial retroactive damages for career-long theft or something. Substantial performance is one of many laws of judicial discretion that enables fairness.
    McCabe was never going to lose his pension; not even a dime.

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