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Beyond the expected

Public servant keeps job, is depressed about it

By Barcham - 10 July 2013 18

The Canberra Times have posted a story about one Luciano Lombardo, a public servant that put his hand up for a voluntary redundancy package, then became depressed as a result of being denied.

It almost sounds like a joke story.

Mr Lombardo applied for one of a small number of voluntary redundancies offered in December 2010 as DEEWR and other departments slashed spending. When his application was refused in February 2011, he went to his doctor, who diagnosed severe depression and recommended a ”long break from work”.

Mr Lombardo never returned to his job and was sacked in August last year after refusing to go back to work.
The former public servant, from the department’s targeted jobs projects branch, argued that he would be ”working for nothing” if he stayed until the retirement age of 65 because his pension benefits under the generous Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme paid more than his after-tax wage.

”The benefit I had qualified for was higher than my take-home pay [so] the department is forcing me to effectively work for nothing,” he told the tribunal.

Nope it’s real. Mr Lombardo is depressed he did not receive a payout that he wanted but in no way was entitled to.

I’d be upset too, but at 61 he only had 4 years left before he could retire. Refusing to return seems like a poor decision.

The question remains as to whether this Luciano Lombardo is the same Luciano Lombardo who performed so admirably in the RiotACT Sim Challenge in 2008.

What’s Your opinion?


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18 Responses to
Public servant keeps job, is depressed about it
Treacle 7:02 pm 10 Jul 13

He left when the rules have changed again: from the 1st of July 2013 CSS and PSS current contributing members can PAYG tax free up to $25,000 salary sacrifice saving up to about $4,000 in tax (PSSap receives the money in an ancilliary membership then pays 15% contributions tax).

JC 6:12 pm 10 Jul 13

Antagonist said :

CSS scheme? And worked past age 54 and 11 months? There was his first mistake. He was supposed to resign to get some massive perks on his 55th birthday. Six years later it appears that he upset because for some reason he feels entitled to severance benefits? Cry me a river, Blubber Boy.

A couple of people where I work were going to do just that, but apparently due to the GFC the benefit dropped so it was then better for them to work past 55/11. Both are still there, though one has announced he will be gone before years end.

Tetranitrate 5:29 pm 10 Jul 13

Diggety said :

It almost sounds like a joke story.

It is. The cultural work ethic of the APS that we have now accepted is f***ing hilarious.

Excuse me while I lodge a 12 month stress leave claim because the printer ran out of ink.

It’s not really about the APS, more about the absurd attitude of some of these baby boomer ‘lifers’.

EvanJames 5:10 pm 10 Jul 13

Antagonist said :

CSS scheme? And worked past age 54 and 11 months? There was his first mistake. He was supposed to resign to get some massive perks on his 55th birthday. Six years later it appears that he upset because for some reason he feels entitled to severance benefits? Cry me a river, Blubber Boy.

Not everyone on the CSS is eligible for 54 11. They rejigged the retirement dates for the younger entrants. I’m in the CSS but can’t retire until age 59, and people younger than me had later retirement dates.

mmillercfp 4:47 pm 10 Jul 13

It seems it may be less about the lump sum redundancy benefits and more about CSS benefits.

For those who miss the boat on 54-11, a retrenchment is one opportunity to access the deferred benefit, after age 55 (refer http://www.css.gov.au/storage/1-CSF16.pdf).

The difference between the retirement benefit and a deferred benefit can be significant, hence the wide awareness of the existence of “54-11”

peitab 3:53 pm 10 Jul 13

I particularly love the parts in the Canberra Times story where he:

1. Suddenly decides that his CSS super is now all-important, but somehow it wasn’t a pressing concern when he was 54 yrs 11 months
2. Declares he now can’t retire until 65. I’m a bit confused – 65 is the pension age, not the minimum age to access his super. And presumably with a CSS super, he wouldn’t be eligible for the pension.
3. Declares he’s working for nothing, since his take-home salary is less than his super pension. I’m not quite sure he understands the meaning of the word ‘nothing’

Diggety 3:49 pm 10 Jul 13

It almost sounds like a joke story.

It is. The cultural work ethic of the APS that we have now accepted is f***ing hilarious.

Excuse me while I lodge a 12 month stress leave claim because the printer ran out of ink.

taninaus 1:42 pm 10 Jul 13

p1 said :

shirty_bear said :

Don’t hate the player, hate the game; this bloke’s just playing the usual PS games.

Why just quit/retire from the pubes when redundancy is so often on offer? Of course, he could simply retire as per his own claim and be done with it. But … redundancy!! $$$ !!

You could argue they should just keep paying him, and ignore whether or not he actually turns up – .

Or rather – don’t fire him, but also don’t pay him, as he paid sick leave must have run out by now. Put him on unpaid sick leave for the next four years…

problem with that p1 is often that type of leave can count as ‘service’ and they accrue annual leave and long service leave which cost the Department in a separation payment at the end.

I don’t quite get the statement that his super is worth more than his salary and that is why he didn’t want to quit? why you wouldn’t take the money if you really wanted to leave I don’t understand – and no a redundancy (aka Golden Handshake if you are at retirement age) is not a right but it is a much abused priviledge/perk in the Commonwealth public service and he is correct that maybe it isn’t fair that he happened to be in the wrong Department.

Antagonist 1:42 pm 10 Jul 13

CSS scheme? And worked past age 54 and 11 months? There was his first mistake. He was supposed to resign to get some massive perks on his 55th birthday. Six years later it appears that he upset because for some reason he feels entitled to severance benefits? Cry me a river, Blubber Boy.

dks00k 11:57 am 10 Jul 13

Or lodge a claim with Comcare and spend the next 4 years on Workers Comp…

p1 11:50 am 10 Jul 13

shirty_bear said :

Don’t hate the player, hate the game; this bloke’s just playing the usual PS games.

Why just quit/retire from the pubes when redundancy is so often on offer? Of course, he could simply retire as per his own claim and be done with it. But … redundancy!! $$$ !!

You could argue they should just keep paying him, and ignore whether or not he actually turns up – by my old PS 80/20 rule (20% of the people do 80% of the work), there’s a 4 in 5 chance he’s contributing sod all anyway. And the people who pull these shenanigans usually fit snugly into that category.

Or rather – don’t fire him, but also don’t pay him, as he paid sick leave must have run out by now. Put him on unpaid sick leave for the next four years…

Thumper 11:50 am 10 Jul 13

It almost sounds like a joke story.

Hang on, I’ll fix it for you.

It has to be a joke story.

shirty_bear 11:45 am 10 Jul 13

Don’t hate the player, hate the game; this bloke’s just playing the usual PS games.

Why just quit/retire from the pubes when redundancy is so often on offer? Of course, he could simply retire as per his own claim and be done with it. But … redundancy!! $$$ !!

You could argue they should just keep paying him, and ignore whether or not he actually turns up – by my old PS 80/20 rule (20% of the people do 80% of the work), there’s a 4 in 5 chance he’s contributing sod all anyway. And the people who pull these shenanigans usually fit snugly into that category.

Erg0 11:41 am 10 Jul 13

He’s depressed because his super is too good? I’d like to have his problems.

p1 11:30 am 10 Jul 13

Would be a little silly for the department to pay him to leave when he clearly wants to leave anyway. How stupid does he think they are? Forget that, he knows how stupid some of them are – until recently, he was “some of them”.

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