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Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!
Old 10-05-2005, 10:27 PM   #1
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Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!

You know, it kind of burns me when it comes to pensions!! I believe statistics say that "most" persons that retire will not receive a pension!! Social Security - big whoop!! When you look at persons that work for the government - being it local, state or federal, they automatically receive a pension after 20+ years or so - which is funded by "everyone's" tax dollars.
And UNIONS - and I have worked for union electrical contractors for a long time, fund the field workers with a pension plan and an annunity on top of that!! Look at the President of the USA and Congress - one term and their set for life with a pension "and" health insurance!!! The best our money can buy too!!!!!! The major problem is that if a pension was made available to all of us - the country would go broke overnight!! Added to the almost 8 trillion debt we are now faced with - I guess there is always those that are needed to bear the "burden" so others can enjoy the "fat of the land"!! I may sound a little bitter, but hey, this is America!At least there are websites like this one where one can vent a little anger once in a while and thankfully there are people out there that do care about the "little people at the bottom" and can give a little guidance to make ones life a little better toward retirement years. I'm probably around 8 years away from retirement at 65, maybe it will be a struggle to live without "worry" all the time, but there are people that will lift you up at this station, give you a little encouragement and tell you "just do the best you can"!! So, I think I'll just bite my tounge & try to just keep saving all I can - to make it as easy on myself and my family once I have to retire - which I hope is sooner than later. I feel better already!!!! Later.
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!
Old 10-06-2005, 12:49 AM   #2
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJL
When you look at persons that work for the government - being it local, state or federal, they automatically receive a pension after 20+ years or so - which is funded by "everyone's" tax dollars.
In the state for which I work, I get a 1% pension * service credit years * the average salary of the last 5 years of employment.... so 30 years will net me 30%. If I retire prior to age 65, I will only see 37% of my benefits.... so .37 * .33 = ~12%.... big frickin deal. That's pizza money. And no, there is not any 401k matching on the side. So seriously, what are you complaining about? As soon as my fiance is done with school, i'm leaving it all behind.... and will probably double my salary (or better), and receive more generous benefits in the private sector...

Quote:
"fat of the land"!!
Hardly.

Quote:
I guess there is always those that are needed to bear the "burden" so others can enjoy the "fat of the land"!! I may sound a little bitter, but hey, this is America!
The real burden will come from the boomers who squandered their earning years and 401k matching opportunities.... they will want:

1- Blame someone else for their poor savings
2- Want some sort of government handout/bailout
3- Have their children/grandchildren pay for any resulting bill.


Quote:
thankfully there are people out there that do care about the "little people at the bottom" and can give a little guidance to make ones life a little better toward retirement years.
Agreed, although I suspect that the vast majority of Americans approaching retirement age will be wanting more than simple advice. Keep saving and doing whatever is working for you, but also be aware of the huge demographic shifts that are taking place in the US.... an excellent book to check out from your local library is "The Coming Generational Storm"
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!
Old 10-06-2005, 01:24 AM   #3
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!

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...And UNIONS...
Many union pensions are being decimated. Steel and airline pensions are bankrupt. The Times just had an article stating GM's pension plan is $31 billion in debt. It looks to me like the people in the best shape are those who save and invest sensibly for themselves.
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!
Old 10-06-2005, 02:20 AM   #4
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!

So what prevented you from taking one of these government or union pension jobs if its such a sweet deal?

My husband is eligible for his military pension in 12 years at age 44. Yeah, I guess that is pretty good, but so far he has spent half of his 8 years away from home and been shot at in at least 2 countries. Oh, and he also doesn't get 401k matching. I know there are some who are medically disqualified from joining the military or police and fire departments (myself included) but lots of others could have easily made that choice and be eligible for a pension of their own. If danger isn't your thing you could have always become a teacher.

On the other hand, I did have my own pension opportunity when I took a goverment job at a federal research lab straight out of college. In exchange, my salary was about 30% lower than my peers. I only stayed there 3 years, but if having a pension was important to me I would have stayed for 30. Hopefully in 25 years I won't regret leaving, and if I do, I hope at least that I won't be whining on a message board about other people living off the "fat of the land."

On the union side - my uncle did stay at his union job for 30 years and now has a "sweet" fixed pension of about $900/month. Doesn't sound like such an incredible deal to me - and apparently not to him either since he just started working somewhere else at the age of 62.
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!
Old 10-06-2005, 08:06 AM   #5
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!

401ks and the like are better for the younger worker (that is smart enough to save and use them). Apparently, you didnt use them.
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!
Old 10-06-2005, 08:19 AM   #6
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!

I love my pensions. One from the military,which I've been getting for 24 years; the other from Mega-Corp, for about 2 years. I love my social security checks, mine and DW's started this year. I love my index funds. I love my I-bonds, E-bonds, and EE-bonds. I love my cash. I love my health, and DW's health, both fairly good, as far as we know. I am happy, and I love being retired. I feel optimistic about the market and about the country, as well. It is about choices, some of which I made years ago, and some that I make even today (like still saving). I love feeling independent! Life is good.

Recommendation: Save 10% or more of your present income. Get a job that has a pension, if that's what you want. Index funds are the way to invest, in either IRAs or 401ks, or both. And be more optimistic. You'll feel better.
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!
Old 10-06-2005, 09:34 AM   #7
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!

As far as federal pensions go - it was one of the major reasons I chose a federal career. At one point I was the financial manager for a major NASA spacecraft project (annual budget $100M+). I held monthly meetings with my counterpart at the prime contractor. He had similar education and responsibilities as I did but made almost exactly twice my salary. He did have less job security than I did, but from my perspective he was amply compensated for that risk. Without the federal pension system as an inducement, I most likely would have opted for a career in the private sector. If you want the gov't to be able to hire and retain good workers, you have to provide some incentive. At the management levels the pay is just not competitive.

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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!
Old 10-06-2005, 10:01 AM   #8
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!

AJL: I for one understand exactly what you are saying. Back when we started, pensions were something that we took very seriously; there were no 401Ks. Back then, young people didn't think too much about retirement; afterall, there was social security!

It really makes me angry when those congressmen get the best health care benefits that we can buy them. There are so many Americans without heath insurance; its a crime!

My brother works for the RR. At age 62, he'll get a good pension. Then when his wife turns 62, she gets an additional 50 percent of his! In his case, 7 years after he retires, he gets a 50 percent raise. Not too shabby!
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!
Old 10-06-2005, 11:07 AM   #9
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJL
The major problem is that if a pension was made available to all of us - the country would go broke overnight!!
Not if it's funded the way mine was, by the employees giving up a portion of their salary to pay for it. Still want one?
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!
Old 10-06-2005, 11:10 AM   #10
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshac
In the state for which I work, I get a 1% pension * service credit years * the average salary of the last 5 years of employment.... so 30 years will net me 30%. If I retire prior to age 65, I will only see 37% of my benefits.... so .37 * .33 = ~12%.... big frickin deal. That's pizza money.
Wow, that's low! Some other states have much higher rates, like California, where it's 3%.
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!
Old 10-06-2005, 11:18 AM   #11
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!

CalPERS (California Public Employee Retirement System) has a number of formulas. I think public safety gets 3% per year. Schools are 2% per year at age 55. If you retire before that, the percentage goes way down. You can't even retire before 50, even if you have 25 years of service! The really try to discourage "young dreamers."
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!
Old 10-06-2005, 11:35 AM   #12
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!

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Originally Posted by Mountain_Mike
CalPERS (California Public Employee Retirement System) has a number of formulas.* I think public safety gets 3% per year.* Schools are 2% per year at age 55.* If you retire before that, the percentage goes way down.* You can't even retire before 50, even if you have 25 years of service!* The really try to discourage "young dreamers."
OK, how about Nevada then?* Everyone gets 2.67%/year of their highest 3 averaged together.* You can retire with 30 years of service at any age (public safety is 25 years of service at any age), and you can buy 5 years worth.* So if you start working for the state (or any other agency that participates in the system) at age 20 and buy 5 years worth of time, you can retire at 45 with 2.67*30=80.1% of your highest 3 years averaged together.* Not too shabby!*
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!
Old 10-06-2005, 05:06 PM   #13
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlowGirl
... and been shot at in at least 2 countries.
It sounds painful, but I guess that's better than being shot in the @$$...
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!
Old 10-06-2005, 05:22 PM   #14
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!

Uh Oh! The anti-gov.-pension war room has finally found this site.
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!
Old 10-06-2005, 05:27 PM   #15
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!

Boy, did I just poke the hornet's nest wtih a stick?? I just wanted to make a statement - after all, its only an opinion and not to be taken for face value. I was not aware that school teachers in other parts of the country were not amply compensated as they are in Pennsylvania. My next door neighbor has been retired for years and usually gone 1/2 of the year with her friends, travelling the world!! She certainly has done ok, living on her pension. Doesn't want for much as I see it, other than maybe wanting a new neighbor that would replace me. Just kidding,I'm a sweet guy. As far as the government pensions though, my brother had worked for the dept. of agriculture and had a good pension coming - 80% of his last pay grade. Unfortunately, he died at 56 years of age, and never got to enjoy it at all!! By the way, his wife died at 44! She didn't get to enjoy her government pension from USIA either! And about 30% of Americans are unfortunately facing the same fate. So I guess the thought of retiring early really sounds good to most people, even if they can't afford it - just to see if they can outsmart the Grim Reaper! Alot of people I talk to convey the same message "retire as soon as you can" - go out at 62 instead of 65! But to retire and not have to "worry" is the key!
My problem is I just can't stand prosperity, thats why I still work to support Uncle Sam. He needs all the money he can get these days, and believe me, he'll spend it alot faster than we can make it.
The point that I wanted to make about the union is as follows:
and I'm talking about the electrical union in PA. My general foreman who works the field as a *Lineworker. We crunched the numbers one day and he will retire after 40 years with approx. $5500 per month. The Contractor that employs us both has paid for his pension and also an annunity on top of that. Although we work for the same employer, I on the other hand do not share the same benefits as the union hand does. If the employer had to give all of the inside workers the same benefits, we would not have the doors open very long. Union contracting only does around 12% of the total contracting volume in PA, down 5% in the last 15 years. Their isn't a person that I know that would not like to have a pension sponsored by their employer or the government, but as I said before, the country would go broke overnight! There are some that have and some that will never have, whether it be for lack of education or out there just "whining" like me! As for the poster who has her man in the military (the one that got all fired up!), I do wish him well and for all to stay out of harms way. My son is in Afghanistan now so I know how she feels. By the way - I spent two tours in Viet Nam with the 1st marines- I think I can vaguely remember what danger is.
Take care.
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!
Old 10-06-2005, 08:31 PM   #16
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJL
By the way - I spent two tours in Viet Nam with the 1st marines- I think I can vaguely remember what danger is.
Take care.
I am on my second tour now (marital). I know what danger is also.
Semper fi!

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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!
Old 10-06-2005, 10:27 PM   #17
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!

I definitely heard that!!! Its a good thing that we had the training to crawl a mile over broken glass and razor blades so we could better prepare ourselves when the "hot flashes" kick in at home!! It has even been documented that some men have been "retired early", never to be heard from again, making the mistake of opening their mouth during the flash!!
Thats why I still sleep with one eye open. Enough on that subject - gives one the shivers though!!
Heres a good one! In our town here, our beloved county investment personnel, decided it was a good "deal" to invest in coins! The bad thing is-it was the county retirement fund!!
After the retirement accounts for the county employees tanked, the conspiritors asked if it would be okay to run a "bond" to the tune of about 11 mil to reestablish the fund balance that had been lost due to mismanagement. They settled for an 8 mil bond !! On top of that, the Treasurer has been arraigned on theft charges - 47k stolen in three months time (I think this is just the tip of the iceberg!). And on top of that, they couldn't get rid of him because he held an elected position! Still had to pay him - and - he didn't show up for work in almost a year!! Finally after this whole charade - they finally found an "angle" to prosecute for the crime! He moved out of the county!!! The only saving grace is he was bonded for $208K. Pity the bonding company if they really take a look at the books from previous years!!
God, I love this town - never a dull moment! Politics at its best!! Sure we have our drug problem and the usual murders in this sleepy old town of 35k people, but this keeps the old blood flowing!! We have alot of older people here and this sure keeps the conversation going on rainy and snowy days.
I better stop blabbing & hit the sack - some of us still have to go to work tomorrow. Maybe I'm the only one on this whole website that this applies to Scary thought!!
Semper Fi
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!
Old 10-06-2005, 11:57 PM   #18
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!

In order to get 80% pension as a federal worker, you have to work approximately 42 years. I have 32 years in and there is no way that I will make it another 10 years. You are not the only person working on this site. However, I do have today off, so I am up late!

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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!
Old 10-07-2005, 07:48 AM   #19
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!

Below is copied and pasted from our September News Letter (Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund) as you can see Taxpayers ar NOT funding the most of our Pensions, our pension fund has over 10 Billion dollars that it actively invests and manages.

Jim


A great majority of public pension benefit funding is earned through investments, not taxpayers. Contributions from employers make up only 26 percent of revenues, with employee contributions about 12 percent. The remaining 62 percent comes from investment income. (Source OP&F Pension fund Newsletter)

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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!
Old 10-07-2005, 07:56 AM   #20
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Re: Pensions for the lowly masses!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJL
I definitely heard that!!! Its a good thing that we had the training to crawl a mile over broken glass and razor blades so we could better prepare ourselves when the "hot flashes" kick in at home!! It has even been documented that some men have been "retired early", never to be heard from again, making the mistake of opening their mouth during the flash!!
Thats why I still sleep with one eye open. Enough on that subject - gives one the shivers though!!
Imagine going through it twice. No wonder I have insomnia from keeping BOTH eyes open all night. I believe there will be a special place in heaven for guys that go through it with more than one wife. At least I hope so. Would hate to think there was not some reward at the end of this.
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