Paywatch: $200,000 Lifeguard Salary

Paywatch: $200,000 Lifeguard Salary

John Seiler:

In better days, lifeguards were young guys and gals who pulled hapless folks out of the drink. It usually was a temporary, summer job.

Now they’re beneficiaries of California’s massive pay, perks and benefits to government workers. Writes our friend Brian Calle, an editorial writer at The Orange County Register:

High pay and benefits for lifeguards in Newport Beach is the latest example of frustrating levels of compensation for public employees. More than half the city’s full-time lifeguards are paid a salary of over $100,000 and all but one of them collect more than $100,000 in total compensation including benefits….

According to a city report on lifeguard pay for the calendar year 2010, of the 14 full-time lifeguards, 13 collected more than $120,000 in total compensation; one lifeguard collected $98,160.65. More than half the lifeguards collected more than $150,000 for 2010 with the two highest-paid collecting $211,451 and $203,481 in total compensation respectively. Even excluding benefits like health care and pension, more than half the lifeguards receive a total salary, including overtime pay, exceeding $100,000. And they also receive an annual allowance of $400 for “Sun Protection.” Many work four days a week, 10 hours a day….

On face, the compensation packages for these guards are staggering. But take into consideration the retirement benefits being paid to currently retired lifeguards and lifeguards who will retire at these pay levels in the future and the problem is further compounded. Lifeguards are able to retire with 90 percent of their salary, after only 30 years of work at as early as the age of 50.

A YouTube video created by Americans for Prosperity-California, an education advocacy organization concerned with limited government, lower taxation, and free-market principles, outlined how in Newport Beach a “recently retired lifeguard, age 51, receives a government retirement of over $108,000 per year for the rest of his life.” The video also notes that “He will make well over $3 million in retirement if he lives to age 80!”

Pam Anderson and the other stars of the TV show “Baywatch” should quit acting and go into lifeguarding. It would pay better.

Call it “Paywatch.”

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