Albany double-dipping — how it works

Here’s how Assemblyman Vito Lopez can collect his state pension while still earning his legislative salary — a legal maneuver that elderly state lawmakers are allowed to undertake, thanks to a 1995 law:

Step 1: Lopez submitted his “retirement” papers to the state comptroller on Dec. 1, the first step in a process that allows him to collect his $88,000 annual pension on top of his $92,000 annual salary starting on Jan. 1. All legislators over 65 and elected before 1995 can file such papers.

Step 2: Lopez will “retire” on Dec. 31, the last day of his term. He is not paid for that day.

Step 3: Lopez is sworn in on Jan. 1 to begin the Assembly term to which he was elected in November.