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Old 01-03-2011, 03:51 PM   #81
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Is it possible that your taxes were lower in the past years because they were not funding the pensions as was their responsibility? There is an analogous situation with Social Security - we got tax cuts and congress just "borrowed" from the SS fund to make up the difference.
good point. And what do you see happening with Social Security because of the underfunding there? They cut benefits and increase the retirement age even for current contributors to the fund. I don't see why the same thing cannot be done for the troubled pensions.
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:53 PM   #82
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Is it possible that your taxes were lower in the past years because they were not funding the pensions as was their responsibility? There is an analogous situation with Social Security - we got tax cuts and congress just "borrowed" from the SS fund to make up the difference.
Yup. Just like the Governor of the great Commonwealth of Virginia got elected on the promise to cut taxes then stole borrowed $600 million from the state pension plan to make ends meet last year.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:04 PM   #83
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Yup. Just like the Governor of the great Commonwealth of Virginia got elected on the promise to cut taxes then stole borrowed $600 million from the state pension plan to make ends meet last year.
No he didn't. He got elected on the promise to privatize liquor sales and get rid of the ABC stores.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:05 PM   #84
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Who retires on $200k a year? Name the position the state etc. As for the initial reason for working for the local government, I started out working as a cytotechnologist. We were encouraged by our instructors to go to work for a government institution because in the private sector the push was to screen as many slides as possible thus missing the cancer cells. Sure enough some years later multiple companies were sued for missing what should have gotten a positive diagnosis. At that time the tech made a $1.50/slide. The more she/he screened the more they made. Again when I went back to school nights to became an attorney while working full time during the day I initially went to work for a private firm when I passed the State Bar. I decided to go back to work with the county for several reasons. One I found workers comp boring also I was fascinated with representing people who managed to mess up their lives on a regular basis. Jury trial work sounded interesting. Also I left my pension in the system. Many people take it out and are sorry later. There are many reasons for going to work for the government. I could have made more staying with the private firm but it wasn't a priority although I had to think long and hard before I made the move. I have personally saved enough money to do alright if our pensions are reduced. I live in a small cabin. I'm fine but I RESENT like hell the misinformation being thrown about by people who don't know what they are talking about! (I'm not talking about the people on this board but the public in general.)
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:16 PM   #85
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No he didn't. He got elected on the promise to privatize liquor sales and get rid of the ABC stores.
...so he could raise enough money to pave all of Northern Virginia without raising taxes.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:40 PM   #86
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I find it fascinating that some folks still believe that outsourcing government functions lowers costs.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:42 PM   #87
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Who retires on $200k a year? Name the position the state etc. As for the initial reason for working for the local government, I started out working as a cytotechnologist. We were encouraged by our instructors to go to work for a government institution because in the private sector the push was to screen as many slides as possible thus missing the cancer cells. Sure enough some years later multiple companies were sued for missing what should have gotten a positive diagnosis. At that time the tech made a $1.50/slide. The more she/he screened the more they made. Again when I went back to school nights to became an attorney while working full time during the day I initially went to work for a private firm when I passed the State Bar. I decided to go back to work with the county for several reasons. One I found workers comp boring also I was fascinated with representing people who managed to mess up their lives on a regular basis. Jury trial work sounded interesting. Also I left my pension in the system. Many people take it out and are sorry later. There are many reasons for going to work for the government. I could have made more staying with the private firm but it wasn't a priority although I had to think long and hard before I made the move. I have personally saved enough money to do alright if our pensions are reduced. I live in a small cabin. I'm fine but I RESENT like hell the misinformation being thrown about by people who don't know what they are talking about! (I'm not talking about the people on this board but the public in general.)
My Dad, City Manager in California
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:51 PM   #88
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Who retires on $200k a year? Name the position the state etc. As for the initial reason for working for the local government, I started out working as a cytotechnologist. We were encouraged by our instructors to go to work for a government institution because in the private sector the push was to screen as many slides as possible thus missing the cancer cells. Sure enough some years later multiple companies were sued for missing what should have gotten a positive diagnosis. At that time the tech made a $1.50/slide. The more she/he screened the more they made. Again when I went back to school nights to became an attorney while working full time during the day I initially went to work for a private firm when I passed the State Bar....

I decided to go back to work with the county for several reason. I'm fine but I RESENT like hell the misinformation being thrown about by people who don't know what they are talking about! (I'm not talking about the people on this board but the public in general.)
Here is partial list of 3700 public employees in NY pulling down 100K+ pension. You'll notice that top make in excess of 200K on their pensions, and they include school administrators, professors, doctors, and others.

There was also the recent story of Vernon, CA where the former top public officials who were pulling in a 510K/year pension with the possibility of this raising to near a $1 million.

Finally here is a list of top pension being paid by the broke Illinois pension funds. This required about 10 minutes of Googling... It shouldn't be hard to find more examples.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:54 PM   #89
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It shouldn't be hard to find more examples.
But there is a downside to that, doncha think?
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:57 PM   #90
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Here is partial list of 3700 public employees in NY pulling down 100K+ pension. You'll notice that top make in excess of 200K on their pensions, and they include school administrators, professors, doctors, and others.

There was also the recent story of Vernon, CA where the former top public officials who were pulling in a 510K/year pension with the possibility of this raising to near a $1 million.

Finally here is a list of top pension being paid by the broke Illinois pension funds. This required about 10 minutes of Googling... It shouldn't be hard to find more examples.
Thanks, clifp, you beat me to it. I was compiling pretty much the same list; mine had Bellwood, IL at the top...
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:02 PM   #91
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Clifp, you'll notice that none of them were on the bread line pay wise.
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:12 PM   #92
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good point. And what do you see happening with Social Security because of the underfunding there? They cut benefits and increase the retirement age even for current contributors to the fund. I don't see why the same thing cannot be done for the troubled pensions.
We have talked about this before. I will bet you dollars to donuts that they will not cut benefits for those already retired or nearing retirement. Changes will be prospective as they were in the past. The full retirement age may get raised, future benefits scaled back a little. But anyone 60+ won't see anything more than possibly a hitch in the tax on SS and maybe a slight dietary tilt to the COLA. Same as when they changed the Civil Service Retirement System. People were vested in what they had already earned. That can still be a PITA for someone 10-20 years into the system but not as bad as pulling the rug out from someone who has already retired.
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:14 PM   #93
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Interesting links.... here is one that just does not make sense.... from the NY site...

Captain Detailed As Assistant Chief InspectorNew York City PoliceN.Y.P.D.$188,659 N.A.20051995




Now... I hope that the guy worked more than 10 years to get a pension that high... the last two numbers are year retired and start year...
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:29 PM   #94
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I don't resent the person with the nice public pension who negotiated it along with their union 20 to 30 years ago. I do resent them coming to me to fund it now when it is broke. I will vote and campaign for it to be funded from some other source than the taxpayer.

It is not like the pension funds became underfunded last week. The public sector employees and unions should have monitored the pension fund all along and screamed hell and gone on strike whenever it was underfunded by more than 1% or some such figure.
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Exactly. The people with the underfunded pensions that are now in trouble had the opportunity to vote, discuss, strike with their union to keep the pension healthy all along. If they blindly just accepted that they were given a deal almost too good to be true then they are not much different from Madoff investors who should have realized when something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

I check our 401K balance once a month to see if it is healthy. I don't just put the money in there and take the word of Fidelity that everything will be just peaches.
So I checked my pension on my furlough day and it's underfunded! How could that be after the house decided to pass budgets underfunding the pension contributionsfor 13 of the last 15 years. Maybe I should go on strike tomorrow.

What kind of power do you think state employees have?

BTW hakuna matata, your wife probably has a 403b deferred compensation program. They are very similar to a 401k.
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:59 PM   #95
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Ok thanks. But the Bell story was quite the topic of the talking heads here. It was unusual and some of those people are possibly looking at some jail time. As to the rest if I were interested in a large pension should have looked elsewhere. A lot pensions out of teacher's fund. But I doubt they teach. New York City is incredibly expensive.
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:00 PM   #96
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Two thoughts...

1. Why we talking about "how much the employee contributed" vs. "how much the city/state/taxpayers contributed" to a pension? And who cares what portion of an employee's compensation is "base pay" vs. "overtime" vs. "pension" vs. "housing allowance" vs. whatever? In the end it's one total compensation package, it is ALL funded by the taxpayers, and presumably all parties involved agreed on the amount. The only valid reason for resentment is that you never really agreed to pay that amount for that particular service (i.e. your political candidate lost the election, and the other guy agreed to the deal).

2. As I've said before, I'm a young government employee and I don't see why having a pension as part of my compensation package is such a fantastic deal. I'm satisfied with my total compensation, but I'd prefer to see the money in my paycheck now rather than having the flimsy promise of that money two decades from now.

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Old 01-03-2011, 06:12 PM   #97
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One of my family members will be vested in Calpers soon and it is a freaking good deal. She does contribute a part of her pay into it, but the payout is pretty amazing. She and I sat down to calculate how much her benefits would be if she and her spouse lived for another 25 years after retirement and the benefits came out to nearly a million dollars even without accounting for inflation. She is planning to retire at 58 with 5 years of service and she will get 11 percent of her highest pay in the last year. The kicker is that she can buy 5 more years of service credit and basically double her pension. The 5 years of service credit costs around 90000 so she is planning to buy it because it translates to 800 a month extra pension income. It is inflation adjusted and there is really no private annuity as good as that out there. Additionally she gets medical insurance for her and her spouse for life. If they were to buy the insurance themselves it would cost over 2000 a month in today's dollars. So basically she gets a 1600 a month inflation adjusted pension And medical insurance worth 2000 per month after 5 years of service, a 90k lump sum and the amount she contributed to the pension during the 5 years of service. I forgot what the percentage was but it is well under 30 percent of her pay of 80000 a year. So lets say that she contributed 25% of her pay for 5 years into Calpers, and you get a total contribution of 100k + 90k lumpsum = 190k. WHERE can you buy an annuity at age 58 for $190,000 that gives an inflation adjusted benefit of 3600 a month? If you can find one I sure would like to get in on it.

Anyway, you do the math. It is a pretty sweet deal considering that the medical insurance Calpers offers is a lot better than Medicare and health insurance costs will definitely rise. For those who say that this isn't tax dollars remember that Calpers is subsidized by California and her pay was funded by tax dollars to begin with. There are other pension programs in california, too, but Calpers is one of the biggest pension programs in the nation so I thought this is a good example of how good the benefits are. I am pretty sure that they can live another 25 years after age 58, and chances are they'll live even longer.
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:19 PM   #98
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Anyway, you do the math. It is a pretty sweet deal. For those who say that this isn't tax dollars remember that Calpers is subsidized by California and her pay was funded by tax dollars to begin with. There are other pension programs in california, too, but Calpers is one of the biggest pension programs in the nation so I thought this is a good example of how good the benefits are.

I don't know if you are pulling our leg or what, but that kind of deal after only 5 years of service is ridiculous. If it is true, it is no wonder that California is one of the states with bad financial problems.

I just hope the federal government doesn't step in and bail out the states. I can vote with my feet and move out of my state when it goes belly up due to these pension problems and other spending issues and move to Alaska where oil pays for everything and money grows on the trees, but I can't easily escape the fed if they decide to bail out every bankrupt state.
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:21 PM   #99
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One of my family members will be vested in Calpers soon and it is a freaking good deal. She does contribute a part of her pay into it, but the payout is pretty amazing. She and I sat down to calculate how much her benefits would be if she and her spouse lived for another 25 years after retirement and the benefits came out to nearly a million dollars even without accounting for inflation. She is planning to retire at 58 with 5 years of service and she will get 11 percent of her highest pay in the last year. The kicker is that she can buy 5 more years of service credit and basically double her pension. The 5 years of service credit costs around 90000 so she is planning to buy it because it translates to 800 a month extra pension income. It is inflation adjusted and there is really no private annuity as good as that out there. Additionally she gets medical insurance for her and her spouse for life. If they were to buy the insurance themselves it would cost over 2000 a month in today's dollars. So basically she gets a 1600 a month inflation adjusted pension And medical insurance worth 2000 per month after 5 years of service, a 90k lump sum and the amount she contributed to the pension during the 5 years of service. I forgot what the percentage was but it is well under 30 percent of her pay of 80000 a year. So lets say that she contributed 25% of her pay for 5 years into Calpers, and you get a total contribution of 100k + 90k lumpsum = 190k. WHERE can you buy an annuity at age 58 for $190,000 that gives an inflation adjusted benefit of 3600 a month? If you can find one I sure would like to get in on it.

Anyway, you do the math. It is a pretty sweet deal. For those who say that this isn't tax dollars remember that Calpers is subsidized by California and her pay was funded by tax dollars to begin with. There are other pension programs in california, too, but Calpers is one of the biggest pension programs in the nation so I thought this is a good example of how good the benefits are.

Perfect example of why California is broke.
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:28 PM   #100
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I don't know if you are pulling our leg or what, but that kind of deal after only 5 years of service is ridiculous. If it is true, it is no wonder that California is one of the states with bad financial problems.

I just hope the federal government doesn't step in and bail out the states. I can vote with my feet and move out of my state when it goes belly up due to these pension problems and other spending issues and move to Alaska where oil pays for everything and money grows on the trees, but I can't easily escape the fed if they decide to bail out every bankrupt state.

I'm not pulling your leg. You can read it on the Calpers site:

CalPERS On-Line

Click
General Information & Eligibility


It says that you need only 5 years of service, and then you can buy another 5 years.

Also, you only have to be age 50 to qualify for the pension. http://www.calpers.ca.gov/index.jsp?...retirement.xml

I think they're planning to change that to 60, but it doesn't matter because all the current employees can still get their pension and medical at age 50 with 5 years of service credit. So the most profitable thing to do is to save up a bunch of money before you're 45, go work for a Calpers agency for 5 years starting at age 45, and then retire at 50 with full medical for life and a small inflation adjusted pension that can cover food and stuff.

My family member worked most of her life in private industry, and only moved to a state agency after her old employer closed down in the financial crisis. She took a huge paycut, but now she said she understands why people want to work in government. Her old company gave her a very generous severance (almost a whole year's pay), but it is not for life like Calpers. The benefits are really really awesome for her even though the job sucks.

Yes, California is going broke, and I do believe that generous pensions like Calpers and others are a part of the problem.
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