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Old 10-19-2010, 02:27 AM   #21
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Reading this exchange, it's kind of easy to understand why it is going to be so hard to achieve a meaningful solution to the problem of underfunded pensions.

The fact remains that there has been extensive underfunding of pension obligations in both the public sector. The reasons for that underfunding may be relevant to preventing this problem from recurring but do not address the fact that either current and future taxpayers (who did not cause the problem) and/or current/former employees (who relied on and accepted benefits that were offered to them) and/or residents (who use and/or rely on services that may get cut to meet the pension underfunding) are going to have to pick up the shortfalls. I don't see any other groups who will do so.

Based on past behaviour of elected officials, my money is on the problem being largely passed on to future taxpayers.

We have a similar issue in HK, where a survey done a few years ago showed that the typical civil servant's total remuneration package was about 300% more than their private sector equivalent (largely due to a very rich unfunded retirement and medical package), they were almost completely immune to job loss and they worked shorter hours. The only difference is that the HK govt has large reserves to meet these costs.
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:08 AM   #22
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Well, as a veteran I feel obligated to speak up.
You and me both.
Many of us military retirees are able to point to an extra factor, which is that for at least part of our careers, people were actually trying to kill us. Surely that's worth some consideration!

Police and firefighter retirees were often in nearly the same situation, in terms of the risks they took in their jobs.

To complain about any of these folks getting a good retirement (in my case, also 50% of base pay) is to ignore that extra factor. Easy to do, but hardly fair.
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Old 10-19-2010, 08:19 AM   #23
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We've all seen the stories of outlandish pension deals. To assume this is the case for every public worker is wrong. What's even worse is to single out one person who honestly earned his pension. I can understand discussing how public pensions should be changed, but to point an accusatory finger at all those who've received a public pension is illogical since the retirees didn’t create the pension system they worked under.

My husband qualifies for a pension after over 30 years of public service. He's in his mid 50s now, but could have retired earlier if he had started as young as flyfishnevada. He started on the trash truck and worked his way up the ranks. In all of our 36 years of marriage, we've never taken advantage of the system. We've paid taxes, never received any kind of assistance from the government or even family members and worked hard for everything we have. We paid for our college degrees out of our own pockets and never got scholarships, tuition assistance, or even a student loan.

It's offensive to suggest he's done something wrong by working over 30 years and receiving a pension benefit he earned and paid a lot into. I just don't understand how people like my husband and flyfishnevada can be targets for all this negativity. They're just two guys who earned a benefit by working hard and long for it.

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Old 10-19-2010, 08:46 AM   #24
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I don't begrudge the pensioners one single iota. Just because the American worker in the private sector bought into the nonsense begun in the Reagan years about how 'wasteful' benefits are (like pensions, health insurance and paid holidays), doesn't mean public sector workers should imitate. Federal and state governments are actually one of the final sanctuaries in our country as far as fair treatment for workers. Ironic, in many ways, but there you are.

I think it is evidently clear that the early 1980s mark the clear demarcation of when America began its decline. We've been on a race to the bottom ever since. We as a nation decided that the average working stiff didn't deserve security and peace of mind if it meant that CEO salaries couldn't rise to 350X and more above that of their employees. Or that passive investors couldn't see the annual 35% return they 'deserve'.

You folks moaning about pensions need to wake up and understand the real issue that threatens the future of our nation--this massive inequality of wealth that has occurred in the last 30 years. Anyone recall what the top income tax rates were during the time of our nation's greatest period of stability and growth--it's 'golden age'? 75% or higher. The road and bridges were in great shape, the schools were good, and people were much happier in general. I think the only thing that will save our country at this point is a return to those tax rates. Stuff that works costs money. Oh right, but I hear it already--the uberwealthy need their obscene wealth to create all those jobs they bequeath us with their factories in China and Vietnam.

One last point--if you think the pensioners have such a sweet deal, do what they did. Get a public sector job. I sure as hell plan on it.
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Old 10-19-2010, 08:53 AM   #25
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Penision envy is an ugly thing...
But unfortunately inevitable as more and more pension "have nots" feel like retirement is going the way of the dodo for most of the private sector middle class. I sure as hell know I wish I had a "do over" in my choice of employment sector.

I'd rather talk about how we can help restore the retirement dreams of the private sector pensionless than tear down pensioners, but maybe that's just me. There's justifiable reason for increased resentment based on what this economy and market have done to pensionless 401K-based retirement prospects. I just don't think bashing the pensioners is useful or even properly aimed. I don't think public pensions would be a "target" if many in the private sector were still getting that deal.

Having said that, the instances of "spiking" that do occur are outrageous and need to be stopped. Not just for the taxpayers but also to protect the solvency of the plans for the pensioners who didn't "spike". And as for the old and tired argument of "go get a government job, then" -- the really nice pension payouts really only can take hold if you start early. We can't get a "do over" for career choices made in our 20s (decisions which made sense AT THE TIME), a mulligan whereby we'd know what to do based on what would happen in 2010. So I really do with that old, tired rebuttal would go away. And remember, I DID get out of college into a job with a pension and retiree health insurance. But I guess it's my fault that I didn't see they'd be taken away a decade later?
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:19 AM   #26
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In my community, 55 percent of my property tax goes to fund pensions of teachers and administrators. This was not a well-known fact until the people holding the pensions would not disclose the funding to the general public who pays the bills! I think this is appalling! I know that a lot of teachers in our area retire and then come back and teach, which is double dipping and shouldn't be allowed. I'm not begrudging those retirees who earned their pensions; but I think the rules need to change for new hires.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:00 AM   #27
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Well, as a veteran I feel obligated to speak up.

You're gonna either have to clarify your statement, support it with a link, or take that "military" word outta there.

When I retired at 20 years of service (which started as the day I graduated from USNA plus 20 years) I was given a "Final Pay" pension of 50% of my base pay. It wasn't based on sea pay, sub pay, nuclear bonus pay, specialty pay, hazard pay, combat pay, family separation allowance, basic allowance for subsistence, basic allowance for housing, variable allowance for housing, or anything else not containing both the words "base" and "pay".

Essentially (winging it here without digging out my leave & earnings statements) I retired on about 25% of my paycheck. You can check those numbers out here:
Military Pay Tables
and here:
https://staynavytools.bol.navy.mil/RetCalc/Default.aspx

A few years after I started active duty, the system was changed to "High Three". I don't know how it is for civilians but the military version is an average of the final 36 months' pay. The average works out to about 95% of the last paycheck, and the pension is based on that 95% amount.

When I retired I was a few months short of my 42nd birthday, although I've seen veterans retire on a 20-year pension at age 37. If I had elected to stick around for another 10 years (30 years of active duty) then I could've retired at 75% of my base pay.

It wasn't until about five years ago that the system was changed to allow veterans to retire at 100% of their base pay (again not including any other pays or allowances). To do so requires 40 years of base pay, and for the Navy that additionally requires the person to have achieved the rank of E-9 or admiral (you veterans please correct me for the other services).

The COLA part of the pension has pretty much kept up with the military pay raises. In other words a person retiring this month gets a check that's within a few hundred bucks of the check that their equivalent counterpart received for retiring 10-30 years ago. (Retired Pay Differences Rise) However it's been generally accepted for the last 20 years that military pay has not kept up with private sector pay and has only recently begun to achieve parity. During a decade of war. Luckily Congress appears to appreciate that issue more than DoD.

I wasn't able to claim any "extra" retirement bennies for midwatches, weekend duty, holiday duty, 24/7 on call, 90-day patrols, or six-month deployments. I didn't get any extra pay for telling families that their spouse/child had been killed in combat or a training accident or, even worse, after last weekend's party. I didn't get any extra pay for visiting my troops in the hospital (if I was lucky) or saying farewell to them at a memorial service. Today's sailors don't get any extra retirement bennies for deploying to the desert on their shore duty to help out the Army.

However the ammunition was free-- the ammunition that was shot at me as well as the ammo I was allowed to shoot back. Of course I didn't always get to decide when to shoot back.

But if you can find a better military veteran who's willing to work cheaper than me... then buy them.
Nords,

My bad... from all that I had read about military pensions, it seemed that they retired after 20 years with 'full retirement', which to me means 100% of their salary... from what you are saying, you are only getting 50% of that... so they ARE reducing the benefit by you taking it early (again, making an assumption.... maybe you can clairify... IF you had waited until you were say 60 or 65, would your pension payout have gone up?)


From the articles that I read about the NY police... the example is over 115% of final salary...

So, I will take military out of my original post...
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:05 AM   #28
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+1. I think it is a mistake to start calling out individual forum members and implying that they somehow did something wrong.

Even in the example that I posted above, the police officer was working within the rules and the blame lies with those that made the rules.


I agree... I am not trying to call out someone on the board... or even the guy who 'gamed' the system... I am trying to call out the SYSTEM... just like I want them to change the SS SYSTEM so it can pay out a reasonable amount that the country can afford...

My sister worked 41 years as a teacher... her pension is not even 100% of her final salary... (I think it is 90%)... I have not problem with the calculations for pensions for her or anyone else who spent that amount of time working.... but even here they changed the system so that you can not start until (IIRC) 60yo if you are not grandfathered in....
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:19 AM   #29
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This whole posting shows such a double standard. Last weekend there was a thread about how a certain individual on this forum was scoping out whether a particular set of regulations would allow him not to repay his student loan, even though he could very well afford to. I objected to his lining his pockets in this fashion, and every reply I got (before I put the thread on ignore) was "Don't get mad at him, he's just going by the rules that somebody else made". Well, what is this cop with the gold-plated pension doing? Going by the rules somebody else made. Don't get mad at him, he didn't invent the NYPD pension system.

What are you so ticked off about anyway? Unless you live in NY, you've got no justifiable beef over this cop's pension. It's not costing you a plugged nickel. How is it any of your business what kind of a pension he gets?

Anyway, you don't know that his benefit is 100% of his salary. You exaggerate how long the pension will likely be paid—by your own admission, you don't know he's only 44, and if you're right, how likely is it he will actually live to age 104? You don't know that health care is included, and you don't know the pension is COLA'd. You've just made a bunch of assumptions that make this one situation look as extreme as possible, then taken a specific case as if it were the general rule, and are using the whole thing as a club to beat up on other public employees.

Why don't you give it a rest?

Let's go to the end of your post first... I did not say he would live to 104.. what I tried to say was he was likely to be paid for 60 years (20 working and 40 retirement... which for someone in their early 40s is likely) for only 20 years of real work..

With the post of the article, we now know that he is getting over 115% of his final salary... I did not know he did not have to pay state or local taxes on this income... makes it even better..

I am not mad at him... I am mad at the systems that allow this to happen... I am mad at the laws that were passed saying that if something is given it can not be taken away...

You say I don't have to worry about this because I do not live in NY... but we have the same problem here in Texas... AND, the federal gvmt is sending a lot of money to the various states to pay for teachers and police in this crisis... which does include my money... so I actually might have a nickel in it...


BTW, I do not think they should change the student loan laws to allow it either... I just did not put down into words the way you did... and I also did not put down into words any negative comments on any of the forum members... I am NOT attacking the people... I am attacking the SYSTEM.. it is the people who are reading into my posts that seem to think I am attacking them.. It appears that they think the system should continue as it did when they got theirs... I don't... I also don't say we should stop paying them what they earned.... (now, there does seem to be attacks going on... I do not wisht this to happen... but I can not stop it).....
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:19 AM   #30
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My sister worked 41 years as a teacher... her pension is not even 100% of her final salary... (I think it is 90%)... I have not problem with the calculations for pensions for her or anyone else who spent that amount of time working.... but even here they changed the system so that you can not start until (IIRC) 60yo if you are not grandfathered in....
When my wife was (briefly) in the Texas TRS last year, she would have been eligible for retirement at age 60 with 20 years of service at 46% of her final pay (averaged over the last five years). That doesn't seem excessive and it required a contribution of 6% of her pay.

Now if we could just get this ministry thing into gear and find her a congregation to serve so she can get into that pension plan...

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I am NOT attacking the people... I am attacking the SYSTEM.. it is the people who are reading into my posts that seem to think I am attacking them..
Agreed, but there a LOT of people out there who are bashing them instead of the pandering politicians who keep these sometimes unaffordable and unsustainable plans intact... and some of them want to change the rules for more than just new hires -- so some amount of defensiveness is understandable.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:28 AM   #31
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I am not mad at him... I am mad at the systems that allow this to happen... I am mad at the laws that were passed saying that if something is given it can not be taken away...
Laws are made by people.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:41 AM   #32
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You and me both.
Many of us military retirees are able to point to an extra factor, which is that for at least part of our careers, people were actually trying to kill us. Surely that's worth some consideration!

Police and firefighter retirees were often in nearly the same situation, in terms of the risks they took in their jobs.

To complain about any of these folks getting a good retirement (in my case, also 50% of base pay) is to ignore that extra factor. Easy to do, but hardly fair.
I learned from Nords posts... and removed military...

I know this is going to get me in trouble... but I will post it anyhow...

Being in the military does carry a lot more risks than the police or firefighters... (and I commend all the military folks that put their lives on the line.. I also commend the police and firefighters that do the same.. I just don't think it is the same level of risk)...

Here are stats for 2007...

The FBI reported today that 57 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty last year; 83 officers died in accidents while performing their official duties .... this is for the whole country of over 300 million people... a statistical blip...


Now, there are occupations that have more people die in a year...

Table 2. Fatal occupational injuries by industry and selected event or exposure, 2009

Construction had 816 deaths... mining had over 100... sure, they are not 'homicides', but if you are dead it doesn't much matter how you got there...

Maybe someone can show stats that prove that being a police officer really has a higher death rate... but from what I can tell by the little data I see it doesn't seem to be... I can not find the stats, but I do not think there has been many officers killed in Houston over the years...
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:34 PM   #33
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One last point--if you think the pensioners have such a sweet deal, do what they did. Get a public sector job. I sure as hell plan on it.
I agree 100% stoutboy. Not only should ALL OF US work in the public sector, but public sector jobs should be guaranteed to all citizens or citizen wannabees. With everyone working in the public sector, hours could be dramatically cut back since there would be many hands to share the toil. And since the gov't can print the money to pay us, profitability would not be an issue and therefore productivity worries would not exist. We could simply buy the food and products we consume from other countries with our freshly printed dollars and enjoy life! None of this crap of sweating out a living, LBYM'ing and all that sort of thing just to reach FIRE.

You're right on!
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:39 PM   #34
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My bad... from all that I had read about military pensions, it seemed that they retired after 20 years with 'full retirement', which to me means 100% of their salary... from what you are saying, you are only getting 50% of that... so they ARE reducing the benefit by you taking it early (again, making an assumption.... maybe you can clairify... IF you had waited until you were say 60 or 65, would your pension payout have gone up?)
I think the semantics causing the confusion are that military veterans are considered "fully qualified" for a pension once they hit 20 years of service. The service multiple, which kicks in at 20 and not before, is "2.5% x YOS". So the service multiple is 50% at 20 YOS, 75% at 30 YOS (which used to also be the old maximum), and now 100% at 40 YOS. There's a little glitch in the service multiple called "REDUX" but we don't need to get into that right now.

There is some conjecture that the service multiple could go higher than 100% for the very few (literally two handsful) veterans who stay on active duty longer than 40 years. This generally requires the legendary act of Congress and would be for an E-9 or full admiral/general. IMO those guys are no longer doing it for the money, and their long-suffering families have certainly given more than 100%.

Another issue is "up or out". I'm not familiar with the other services, and the rules keep changing, but in the Navy you generally had to retire at 20 years if you hadn't made E-7 or O-5 by then. 24 years max if you hadn't made E-8, 28 years if you hadn't made O-6, 30 years for almost all E-9s, 30 years if you hadn't made flag. Pay scales actually topped out considerably earlier-- my last O-4 seniority bump occurred at 14 YOS and from then on the only raises were assigned by Congress's annual budget.

So although only 15% of all the U.S. military's veterans actually fully qualify for a pension, the vast majority of that 15% is getting a 20-year 50%-of-base-pay pension. I don't know the percentage of all the U.S. military's veterans actually getting a 75% pension, but I bet it's under 3%.

A typical E-9 at 30 years is 47-48 years old. A typical O-6 at 30 years is 51-52 years old. So yes, they are getting their pensions "early". But again, at those ranks it's no longer about the money.

In the mid-1990s the Navy went in for a "Temporary Early Retirement Authorization". The program only lasted for a couple years, and my application was disapproved three times. The idea was to pay off O-4s to retire before 20 YOS, perhaps with as few as 15 YOS. IIRC pensions in that case were as little as 35% of base pay. It may have seemed like a pitifully small amount of money at the time, but I was pretty motivated at the prospect of a COLA'd annuity and a fresh start at a "real" life.

Reserves/National Guard pensions are a whole 'nother ball of worms. Essentially the veterans of those programs accumulate 20 "years of qualifying service" by doing a certain amount of "one weekend a month, two weeks a year" in each qualifying year. Making sure you get that "good year" is a big deal. Some years it may be a year of active-duty mobilization, other years it may be the equivalent of a couple weeks of online correspondence courses, and it's your own responsibility to not screw it up. Many veterans joined the Reserves/NG after active-duty service of up to 18 years while a few of them joined the Reserves/NG from the start of their service and have only been mobilized for a few months at a time. (That was the Cold War. These days the "plan" is a year of active-duty mobilization during every five good years of service.) The Reserve/NG service multiple is the same 2.5%, but the pension's base amount is calculated on points of Reserve/NG duty rather than years of active-duty service.

Another difference in the Reserves/NG is that no matter when you achieve your pension eligibility, nor for how long you've had it, it doesn't start paying out until you're 60 years old. It's a pretty significant issue to realize that you could earn a military pension at age 37 but have to stay alive for another 23 years to start collecting it. It's a bit of an ER challenge to "bridge the gap" between the last Reserve/NG paycheck and the first Reserve/NG pension check.

The net effect is that while most active-duty military retirees are getting 50% of base pay, most Reserve/NG retirees are receiving 25%-40% of base pay. It ain't the same sweet deal as an active-duty 20 years but for a "reduced hassle" it's better than no payoff at all.

I did my straight 20 years of active duty (1982-2002) and retired at age 41 for a 50% base-pay pension. Spouse started her active duty in 1983 and did 17 years/10 months/6 days* before transferring to the Reserves for another eight years/eight months, retiring at the end of 2008. She did a lot of short-term active duty in the Reserves so her pension will be about 51% of base pay. These days she's a "gray area" Reservist awaiting her pension, which starts in 2022. One of her life goals is to collect at least as much pension as she has paychecks. For extra bonus points she's going to adjust that for inflation...

That's probably way more than you wanted to know about military pensions, and frankly the subject confuses the hell out of most of us too. However I had to re-learn quite a bit of the basics to write the book (especially the details of Reserve/NG pensions) and I know where to dig up the data, so please post or PM me if you want more details.
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Old 10-19-2010, 02:20 PM   #35
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Nords,

Not to much info... and it corrects an error that I had big time... One of the things I do not like about the military is the 20 year cliff... if you don't make it to that 20 you get nothing (again, from what I read)... kind of a silver handcuff on someone who already has 15 years in service...

As for the wait... that is the same for a teacher (and I believe any civil servant except police and fire).. Lets say you came out of college at age 22 and worked 10 years in teaching... you qualified for a 2.2X YOS or 22% of your highest 5 years salary (used to be 3)... you did not start getting this until (IIRC) you were 65.. (I think it was age plus YOS = 75... I think it might have changed in the last few years)..

Now, if you worked 30 years you qualified for a 66% pension that started once you retired (75-30=45, but 22yo + 30 = 52 yo)... I think that has changed to now you can not start until you reach 60...

Also, the Texas pensions are NOT COLAed... it is what it is... every once in awhile they have increased it, but now it looks like there will not be any increase for at least the next 10 years..


Except for a few people who seem to have benefited from the wonderful pension... most seem to think it is broken... I for one do think it is broken.. and I think that the federal gvmt at some time will come in to 'fix' the problems... as pointed out, look at what they did for the GM workers...
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Old 10-19-2010, 03:44 PM   #36
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We've all seen the stories of outlandish pension deals. To assume this is the case for every public worker is wrong. What's even worse is to single out one person who honestly earned his pension. I can understand discussing how public pensions should be changed, but to point an accusatory finger at all those who've received a public pension is illogical since the retirees didn’t create the pension system they worked under.

My husband qualifies for a pension after over 30 years of public service. He's in his mid 50s now, but could have retired earlier if he had started as young as flyfishnevada. He started on the trash truck and worked his way up the ranks. In all of our 36 years of marriage, we've never taken advantage of the system. We've paid taxes, never received any kind of assistance from the government or even family members and worked hard for everything we have. We paid for our college degrees out of our own pockets and never got scholarships, tuition assistance, or even a student loan.

It's offensive to suggest he's done something wrong by working over 30 years and receiving a pension benefit he earned and paid a lot into. I just don't understand how people like my husband and flyfishnevada can be targets for all this negativity. They're just two guys who earned a benefit by working hard and long for it.

Great post!!! I too started from humble beginnings. I started in the mail room. I went to school at night and when I discovered that the Nevada Department of Transportation offered classes to help me qualify to take the engineer in training test, I applied to transfer there. They did that because they had trouble attracting engineers due to the low pay. Took me a year to get on there. I started as a trainee, took the classes on my time and worked my way up the ladder. Ten years later I finally had enough experience to take my professional Engineers exam. I was 35 yo by then.

I also paid taxes, just like everyone else, all those years. Government employees aren't deadbeats. We contribute to society, too. You may not always agree with what they do (the IRS for example), but they usually do it well.

I have never been on welfare, taken unemployment, accepted free medical care, taken college loans, grants or scholarships and because of my pension, I never will. How many private sector people that don't plan well will end up in some safety net that we all pay for? Even those on SS. Furthermore, my pension checks are recycled right back into the economy. I pay income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, vehicle registration, etc. I shop here in Nevada. Not only that, but some young guy now has my old job. I know, I trained him. He got a raise. and somewhere down the line a new person will get a job with the state, designing or building roads.

Do some folks take advantage of their pensions? Sure, but who set up the rules that allow them to work overtime or serve on boards and committees that boost that pension (by the way, what I got is all I could get. No opportunity to boost it)? Who set those ridiculous plans up? Who raided the pension plans? Who spent all the money or invested it poorly? Not that police officer, not purron's husband and not me! I worked hard,m in good faith that Nevada would pay me the pension they promised me under the rules they had set up.

Do a little research. California, Illinois and New York are the exception. They get all the press in the 24 hour news cycle, but they are not representative of all pension plans. Many are responsible, stable plans that pay a reasonable benefit. You might not like pensions in general, but they aren't all union driven looting of the general fund.

Would any of you have done different if the opportunity presented itself? Would you have turned up your nose at the possibility of retiring at 55, 50 or 43 on principles? At the age of 18, 20 or 25 would your ideals have dictated you quit that stable job and give up the pension, possibly default on a mortgage, or go on welfare to support a family becuase pensions are the problem? I doubt it.

Pensions are legitimate tool to ensure public and private employees can retire with a reasonable income. Have people abused them when the rules allow it? Sure. Have unions and politicians gone on a spending orgy in the last 20 years? Definitely! That doesn't make all pensions bad. If so, your employer needs to stop offering you a matching 401k and company stock because of Enron. Aren't irresponsible corporations the problem, or is it the folks that work there and trusted their employer to watch the store?

I earned my pension. I played by the rules and contributed a quarter million dollars towards it. I earned less than I could have to stick it out. I am offended that some feel that people like me are the problem. Debate the pension issue all you want, but leave the personal attacks out of it. Us "government types", who apparently aren't part of the "general public", get a little cranky when we are blamed for the ills of our nation.
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Old 10-19-2010, 03:54 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
Except for a few people who seem to have benefited from the wonderful pension... most seem to think it is broken... I for one do think it is broken.. and I think that the federal gvmt at some time will come in to 'fix' the problems... as pointed out, look at what they did for the GM workers...
Not exactly true. Many who receive a pension see how the system is broken. Just how many who have lifetime, affordable medical care insurance coverage through their employment see how that system's broken too.

I have no problem with a spirited debate. The problem here was placing blame on those who received the pensions instead of those who approved the pension plans they worked under. While this may not have been the intent, that message came through loud and clear to me and clearly other forum members too.
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Old 10-19-2010, 04:00 PM   #38
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I don't think we need to blame people for taking advantage and working for 20-30 years with pensions at the end. Would I do this, yes, maybe.

But another problem is that when we have local or state level pension propositions to vote on, we unlikely be able to resolve such issues. Would anybody vote to reduce benefits?!

So, the only way out is - crisis (say on local or state level) and all bets are off the table.
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Old 10-19-2010, 04:18 PM   #39
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A few folks mentioned the NYPD and the pensions they receive. If you want to see a real scam take a look at the Nassau and Suffolk county Police Dept's out on Long Island NY who are about the highest paid of all Police. Many of my friends are retired from these dept's and are receiving over 150K full COLA pensions with full medical. Also many of them are getting SS disability and I don't see a thing wrong with them.

Call it what you will but none of this makes any sense.

As far as making less than other sectors. Many of them make over 200K a year and in the last 3 years of work which effects there pension payout they make more than any other years they worked to boost their pension.

At some point this will all be put to an end. The civil servants can't make more than the people they serve and expect to work to the age of 41 and have full COLA pensions till they die. Many of these pensions are set up to pay the spouce also once the worker is gone.

It will all end at some point.http://www.ag.ny.gov/media_center/20...mar18a_10.html
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Old 10-19-2010, 04:20 PM   #40
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Just a couple more points for discusion purposes. I will receive a tiny pension from my work, not near enough to live on. About enough to cover the cost of cable TV and cat food (OK, I'll admit this is a little higher expense than average in the Purron household of four cats plus shelter fosters ).

Since I changed jobs more frequently than my DH, most of my money is in IRAs (from my many years working for several different Megacorps) plus the TSP from my 14 years with the Federal government. All of this money accumulated from employer matches of my own contributions. If I were to buy an annuity today with my IRAs and TSP, the monthly benefit would be almost idential to my husband's pension.

We've both worked the same amount of time and have made similiar salaries. The main difference is I took on more risk since I don't have a defined benefit.

I believe more local governments will raise minimum retirement ages and switch away from defined benefits to 401K type plans. This will shift more of the risk from employers to employees. The feds took a big step in this direction when they got rid of the old CSRS system and went to FERS.

If these changes happened, would the pension problem be solved? I don't think so. There are many other factors at play here for people much smarter than me to figure out. By the time they do, I'll be too old to care or even understand

Peace.

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