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Old 04-02-2010, 09:51 AM   #21
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Thanks everyone for the answers. It was as I suspected, but I wasn't totally sure.

I think that very few people actually plan for their retirement; as they just expect to work until they die. If I hadn't decided to move far away(and required selling everything to do it), even with my pension, I had decided basically to work until they refused to let me work anymore, which would be about age 72-76. I was just going to stay in my current house which has no mortgage. My wife has no retirement benefits at all except for a small SS stipend form her non child bearing work years, which won't even pay for our health care.

But things changed in my work place, and my job essentially disappeared due to the advent of NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND. While I'm still in the job, in one fell swoop 75% of my job simply disappeared, and those parts were taken up by endless paperwork rather than seeing children. So we decided to retire in a new adventure far away, but we are not early retiring, unless people consider working for 40 years, and retiring at 62 to be early retirement.

Z

P.S>: I haver posted several times to get stories of other people's changes int he workplace. I have never said that education was the only change, and I resent when people misrepresent what I say just to get things started. I assume that people can maturely respond to a discussion about people's differing struggles and benefits without attacking people who want to discuss these things.
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:07 AM   #22
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Which is what? Is there a question in your post, or are you just trying to stir the "public vs private" pot? We've already got a thread like that one.
My thoughts too. The OP could simply Google for the answer.

The poster keeps hitting the theme that teachers have it rougher than the rest of us, while being blissfully unaware of the lot of other professions (this OP is a clear example).
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:18 AM   #23
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My thoughts too. The OP could simply Google for the answer.

The poster keeps hitting the theme that teachers have it rougher than the rest of us, while being blissfully unaware of the lot of other professions (this OP is a clear example).


The poster has not said any such thing. And the poster(ME) resents that you are trying to stir up some pot to get into a flame war.

This poster(me) is fully aware that the public school pension plan in PA is one of the best in the country, and has known this fact for all of his working years, as well as it being the major reason he has stuck it out for 40 long years.

While I was capable of googling for information, I was more interested in a person to person people response which is why I post here.

While I'm not really really upset that you have chosen to misrepresent me in this way, I must say that you are just wrong or just jealous or something.

Z
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:24 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Zarathu View Post
While I'm not really really upset that you have chosen to misrepresent me in this way...
You sure had me fooled. Is it still yesterday?
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:28 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Zarathu View Post
While I was capable of googling for information, I was more interested in a person to person people response which is why I post here.

While I'm not really really upset that you have chosen to misrepresent me in this way, I must say that you are just wrong or just jealous or something.Z
We simply disagree. The answers to your questions are very well documented. If you're going to try to provoke people, you have to expect some dissenting views. I stand by my response to your OP, but you'll get no flame war from me...
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:38 AM   #26
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You sure had me fooled. Is it still yesterday?
You see what you wanna see. I'm only interested in people's stories.
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:38 AM   #27
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Thanks everyone for the answers. It was as I suspected, but I wasn't totally sure.
I have to admit, I missed something and am not exactly sure what this thread was about or what you suspected.
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:47 AM   #28
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I have to admit, I missed something and am not exactly sure what this thread was about or what you suspected.
OK..... let me try again.

1. I prefer to listen to people's stories rather than look for dry facts on the internet(which I am really good at doing).

2. I've spent my career listening to people describe their lives and I prefer stories to dry facts.

3. While I have always known that I had a super pension, it was only recently that I have heard(because I never looked at it because I have other things that are not of a financial nature occupying my life) the pension that my FIL got and that my SIL will get, and that my cousins will get from their Mega-corp is not what is being currently offered in most places.

4. I was looking for stories herein to affirm or deny what I've been hearing elsewhere.

5. I have always looked for stories. I cannot help it if I am usually clueless about financial matters and that many people here have spent their lives dealing with every little penny. I didn't have to. I had an unusual and state law secure pension plan. It was just never part of my existence; though I know that my FIL never understood how it couldn't be. I don't know much about RMD, IRA's, 401K's or any of that other financial planning jargon; it was never necessary for me to know about those things.

6. Just because people here don't understand how could not not think like they do, doesn't mean that I don't think like they do. I do not think in any kind of financial way because I never needed to beyond rudimentary stuff of making a living. Sorry if you financially oriented people are not like me. My SIL and FIL never understood either.

7. I enjoyed the response about this issue showing that indeed, the people I know in megacorp also have exceptional pensions and health care, and that this IS NOT THE CURRENT NORM. I DID NOT ENJOY THOSE PEOPLE WHO attacked me for not knowing about the state of current pension plans int he mega corp world until just now.

'Nuff Said.

Z
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:57 AM   #29
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When you are in the bottom of a hole, quit digging..............
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:06 AM   #30
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I guess I should stay out of this forum. People here just won't believe my motives.
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:09 AM   #31
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Zarathu, if you don't want some of the responses you got here, I'd suggest that you just ask the straight question without coloring it with comments like:

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... who dutifully educated their youngins and in the early years made very little money to do it ...
A comment like that strikes me as self-serving and 'holier-than-thou'. So it doesn't get the thread off to a neutral start. You should not be surprised that it makes people want to throw a little color into their responses.

What makes educators any more 'special' than anyone else? Sure, the work they do is important, but is it any more important than the doctor who operates on a child, or the receptionist that coordinated the OR schedule, or the entrepreneur who started a business providing the medical tools that the doctor used in the operation, or the engineers that designed the electronic medical monitors, or the gal that fixed the brakes on the school bus, or the guy on the assembly line that made the bus, etc, etc?

It is the line of work that they chose with the compensation package that was offered. So don't 'complain' about the supposed low pay. We all make choices. And don't try to inflate your importance. We all have a job to do.

Now, if you volunteered and did it for free, OK, I'll salute you. But when I see what went on in our school district, with teachers (or at least their Union), unwilling to give even a fraction of an inch to help the kids, I'm not accepting the broad-brush that it is such an angelic profession (though there are many angels, and devils too).

There are good/bad apples in every bunch. Google "new york teachers union rubber room" to take a little polish off that apple. But please don't comment in this thread, we are already too far off topic.

So, back on topic - no public sector employees reporting cuts to their pensions?

-ERD50
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:17 AM   #32
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I guess I should stay out of this forum. People here just won't believe my motives.
It's not the motives. Your clarification didn't clarify.

I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:30 AM   #33
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Z, I missed the flurry of posts before I hit submit. Allow me to turn it around to a positive example, rather than a negative. If you had worded your post something like this:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I have a question about retirement benefits in the private sector. I have been in the public sector for 40 years, and most of the people I associate with are in the public sector, so I am pretty unaware of what the typical benefits package in the private sector looks like. I understand that in general, the public sector benefits are considered to be very good. Can you share your stories for comparison? Both current retirees, and new hires?

-hypothetically yours, Z

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think you would have got straight responses, and would have been justified in calling out any judgmental/attitude responses. But you didn't. And we are left to wonder why.

-ERD50
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:25 PM   #34
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My Megacorp eliminated the DB plan for all new hires after December 2004.

Current employees had a one time chance to stay in the old DB plan or move to a plan which offered an enhanced 401(k) company contribution.

They eliminated retiree health care at the same time for all employees who were not at least 40 years old on that date.

They capped the retiree health care contribution at $7000 per employee - when retirees as a class exceed that the excess gets added on to everyone's premiums.

I would not be able to retire this year without retiree health care and the DB plan. I feel sorry for younger workers, they are going to have to save 20%+ of their incomes annually and even then probably work to 60 or later.
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:32 PM   #35
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ERD 50 says what I was trying to say:

"I have a question about retirement benefits in the private sector. I have been in the public sector for 40 years, and most of the people I associate with are in the public sector, so I am pretty unaware of what the typical benefits package in the private sector looks like. I understand that in general, the public sector benefits are considered to be very good. Can you share your stories for comparison? Both current retirees, and new hires?"

Sometimes I don't say what I want to say. I won't go into all the other stuff which is not related to the question. I simply don't understand why my motives are being questioned over and over again. I do know that the business of education is extremely different than business and industry. People who come from those areas and have gone into education always say that they couldn't believe how unprepared they were for the differences. Maybe this is the heart of my not being able to communicate, but its not related directly to the question, which is what ERD50 formulated above.

ERD50 has written the essential kernal of my question. Maybe people could respond to that and not to stuff that I just don't see in my posts that everyone else is reading in.

Z
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Old 04-02-2010, 03:46 PM   #36
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I say give Zarathu the benefit of the doubt and assume the intended question is as ERD phrases it. But Z - be careful how you respond to comments responding to the ERD wording or you will catapult us back into rancor
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Old 04-02-2010, 04:55 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Zarathu View Post
"I have a question about retirement benefits in the private sector. I have been in the public sector for 40 years, and most of the people I associate with are in the public sector, so I am pretty unaware of what the typical benefits package in the private sector looks like. I understand that in general, the public sector benefits are considered to be very good. Can you share your stories for comparison? Both current retirees, and new hires?" Z
Z, your post is much clearer.

The corporate sector has moved quite strongly into limiting future liabilities and containing current labor costs. Future pension liabilities have been reduced by moving from defined benefit to defined contribution. Current labor costs are contained by introducing less comprehensive health care plans, increasing copays and deductibles, and limiting the employer contribution. So new arrivals to the corporate world can expect self financed and directed pension with corporate contributions but no liability along with health care which is less comprehensive and growing in employee contribution.

I would be surprised if the public sector did not move strongly in this direction soon.

Now, do you have any specific questions?
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Old 04-02-2010, 05:01 PM   #38
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I retired two years ago from a mega corp with a non cola DB that was frozen five years before retiring. At the time it was based on 60% of your final average earnings for the previous five years. Unfortunately we took a 40% pay cut for four years prior to retiring to prevent the company from going BK. It went BK anyway but is now out and merged with another company. My DB now is $2K/mth less than planned. We pay 50% of the medical.

Company has switched to a partial DB and DC plan. Any new hires will be under a DC plan.
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Old 04-02-2010, 05:01 PM   #39
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I went 12 years without health insurance and an up to date American passport. But I was layed off(jan 93) at age 49 and had a seriously bad attitude. Too cheap and too mean to get sick.

Interestingly by age 62 after moving to Missouri I could afford BC/BS - all praise to Bogle's 'policy portfolio' and Mr Market in the 90's.

? Dumb Luck ? Don't know but it I made it - paying COBRA would have caused me to sin - by getting a job.

heh heh heh - not recommended for anyone else - plus she(SO) had medical under her UAW union pension.
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Old 04-02-2010, 05:29 PM   #40
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My story - after 17 years of service, all of our Fortune 500 MegaCorp employee pensions were frozen in 1994. ALL retiree health care was eliminated in 2001. However, it was a blessing in disguise, as it made me provide for myself - and I'm much better off as a result. YMMV

Quote:
Traditional pensions that pay out guaranteed benefits for life aren't easy to come by these days, as most employers have long since abandoned their traditional pension plans in favor of 401(k)'s.


Public service. Local, state, and federal government positions are the most likely to come with top-notch retirement benefits. Approximately 80 percent of state and local government workers had access to a traditional pension as of September 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Large, private companies. Pensions are much more difficult—but not impossible—to find in the private sector. Although only 21 percent of all private-sector workers were offered traditional pensions in 2007, employees at large, financially sound companies may still get guaranteed retirement payouts for the rest of their lives. Some 34 percent of companies with 100 workers or more offered a traditional pension in 2007, while only 9 percent of firms with fewer than 100 workers did, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number of employers providing pensions continues to decline every year.
Quote:
In the past, retirees could often count on their employers to provide health insurance until Medicare kicked in, or sometimes even after they were eligible for Medicare. But in 2007, only a third of large employers offered retiree health insurance, down from 66% in 1988, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Education Trust. Only 5% of employers with fewer than 200 employees offered retiree health insurance last year.

Those companies that continue to provide retiree health insurance are reducing benefits or requiring retirees to pay more for their coverage.

The millions who will retire early without company-provided health insurance may need to buy a health care policy to last them until Medicare kicks in at age 65. Unfortunately, individual policies for people in their 60s can be hugely expensive, with premiums topping $900 a month for family coverage. And those in poor health might be unable to find a policy at any price.
Jobs That Still Offer Traditional Pensions - US News and World Report
Early retirees try to fill gap in health coverage - USATODAY.com
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