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View Poll Results: What is the maximum percent of base salary paid by your system?
100% or more 3 7.14%
Between 90.01% and 100% 1 2.38%
Between 80.01% and 90% 3 7.14%
Between 70.01% and 80% 7 16.67%
Betweeen 60.01% and 70% 5 11.90%
Between 50.01% and 60% 9 21.43%
50% or less 14 33.33%
Voters: 42. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-20-2010, 11:43 AM   #21
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Kyounge, I believe the uproar (and rightly so imho) is the big loophole (being closed now) that lets school districts/municipalities/whatever manipulate the last few years of salaries to spike the pension. The money budgeted for the pension plan is based on the normal salary, not the spiked salary, and cannot cover them, so the spiking ends up bleeding the pension plan and we all know who will be on the hook to cover the shortage (Padded pensions costing Illinois taxpayers millions - chicagotribune.com)

I don't begrudge anyone, government employee or otherwise, the pension they worked for.
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:46 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by haha View Post
Now that is a dangerous job! Congratulations on making it to retirement.

Ha
Thanks for the comment, Ha. There were many exciting times with a few close calls, including one which put me out of commission for almost a year, but the career was a good choice for me. I do enjoy retirement more though!
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:55 AM   #23
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And what sort of answer to this question do you expect from this poster? He would feel wonderful, as he knows that this cannot happen to him, so he is free to say anything.

Ha
Didn't happen to me, but we had two groups who were screwed in one of the statutory changes. They were putting a bill through the legislature to fix it, and at the last minute they cut a deal and only fixed it for the unionized teachers and screwed the nonunionized professors. Of course they had told us that we didn't need unions since they would never ever ever do that to us.
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:58 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
That's not even close to the same situation as I described. It's no different than an increase in the Social Security tax rate, for example. It hits everyone equally and it's born of necessity. Shared sacrifice, taken equally by all.

If they singled out your department for slashing the pension while you still had to pay for the pensions of others -- or increased your mandated contributions to subsidize another department's plan with no benefit to your own retirement -- how would that make you feel?
1) It wasn't shared equally.. They screwed employees to benefit taxpayers.
2) They certainly did that to other people , although not to me. See the other response

The bottom line is that you get exactly what you are legally entitled to and not one cent more. The problem for most private sector employees is that they do not realize that they are day laborers with no rights at all
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:59 AM   #25
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Didn't happen to me, but we had two groups who were screwed in one of the statutory changes. They were putting a bill through the legislature to fix it, and at the last minute they cut a deal and only fixed it for the unionized teachers and screwed the nonunionized professors. Of course they had told us that we didn't need unions since they would never ever ever do that to us.
Egad. Public versus private sector benefit deals are contentious enough. Let's not throw the U-word into it as well....
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Old 10-20-2010, 12:00 PM   #26
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2) They certainly did that to other people , although not to me. See below.
And how would you have felt if they DID do it to you? Think you might be just a little angry or resentful that you were being treated like a second class citizen and asked to subsidize the security of others while no one cared about your own?
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 10-20-2010, 12:24 PM   #27
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I was surprised, but the table showed a higher allowance for Houston than for Dallas.
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Oooops! Sorry -
Old 10-20-2010, 01:24 PM   #28
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Oooops! Sorry -

I erroneously voted in this poll, so disregard one of the "under 50% votes". I did read the statement "Please don't vote in this poll unless you are currently working, or have worked in the past, for local, state or federal government (including military). ", but then after calculating mine for comparison, and getting so focused on the number, I forgot about the pre-requisite for voting. Sorry.

-ERD50
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Old 10-20-2010, 03:37 PM   #29
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And how would you have felt if they DID do it to you? Think you might be just a little angry or resentful that you were being treated like a second class citizen and asked to subsidize the security of others while no one cared about your own?
Would I be angry at the powers that be, sure. Would I be nasty spiteful and bitchy towards my fellow workers? NO
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Old 10-20-2010, 04:36 PM   #30
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I'm a federal employee who will retire in 2 yrs, 2 months. I'm under the old CSRS defined benefit plan. As such, my retirement for 36 yrs service (includes 4 1/2 yrs active military) will be just a hair under 70% of my high-three average. Out of that, I'll pay federal taxes and health insurance, plus pay for a survivor benefit for my spouse. I'll be 55 yrs old when I retire.

In addition, when I reach age 60, because I'm also retired now from the Air Force reserves, I'll receive a COLA'd pension based on my 33 combined years service active & reserves. Because I did meet my 40 quarters minimum for SS, I will draw some SS when I reach eligibility age for that. However, since I am a federal employee under CSRS, and have not contributed the minimum amounts to SS in many years, I will only receive a very small SS payment, due to the Windfall Elimination Provision. WEP. Am I happy to be getting these 2 COLA'd govt. pensions? Hell yes. I am not a highly paid employee, though, and my 2 pensions will be enough to live on, but I won't be seen sailing around the world on a yacht.
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Old 10-20-2010, 04:57 PM   #31
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Pension?
So true and a low wage to boot.
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Old 10-20-2010, 05:28 PM   #32
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I think you have missed the point of the poll, which is to show that the pension stories which are posted here are not typical examples. Most public employees do not get six-figure pensions, we don't get above 100% of our base salary as a retirement benefit. We often don't get full COLA, and we don't always get full payment of health insurance after retirement, yet again and again, examples of people who do get these extremely generous benefits are presented as if they are the universal experience of public employees, and then this supposition is taken as evidence that public employee benefits are too high. I think that whole line of argument is nothing but a straw man and I'm sick of being beaten over the head with it!

Oops... my bad.

Sorry I didn't see the part about poll for govt employees.
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Old 10-20-2010, 06:45 PM   #33
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Pension calculation for Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) may be found here:
CSRS Retirement Calculator
(No Social Security, and no matching TSP contributions from the Government)

for Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) here:
Federal Employee FERS Annuity Information and Calculator.

As a Federal annuitant, I will pay into federal health insurance until I turn 65 at which time, I recently learned, the "federal" insurance providers will force me onto Medicare by a ruse I don't completely understand.

A while back I started a thread about which "pensioners" pay or don't pay toward their pension :Those w/Pensions: How much do you pay in?

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Old 10-21-2010, 01:40 PM   #34
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there is a website for NY pensions, you can look up and see how much anyone in the NY retirement system gets paid. www.SeeThroughNY.net

For anyone in NY you can find out what all the teachers etc get paid in your district and how much the retirees get paid. There is also a police/fire section.

I looked up my school district, the large majority get less than $20,000 per year. I only know the particular history of one person, she drove a bus for 35 years and receives $16,000 per year. These days the amount would be even less as NY has a tier system. Most of the bus drivers supplement their pay by working part time in the cafeterias or with students on jobsites, on the evenings and weekends and during the summer- I know them as I pick up some on call work in the schools as well.
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:15 AM   #35
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Both my wife and I are state higher education staff, she over a much longer period of time. Under her plan she has an underfunded fixed pension + 403b, under mine no pension, just 403b. No healthcare benefits in retirement.
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:40 AM   #36
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I fully agree that Corporations "conspired" with tame bought politicians to screw workers out of pensions. I told people in 1980 that a vote for Reagan was a vote against pensions. By 1988 the Republican led (and Democratically enabled) destruction of private pensions was well underway. The key was the underfunding of the PBGC.

You should include the unintended consequences of ERISA enacted under Jimmy Carter.

I'd add court interpretations of stakeholder and shareholder rights have had allot to do with it as well.
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:44 AM   #37
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The university I work for has a DB plan. The benefit is calculated by (years of service) x (highest 3 year average salary) x (age factor). The age factor starts at 0.011 at age 50 and stops increasing at age 60 at 0.025. I was fortunate enough to start working here just out of college so I can retire at 55 with a decent DB income. Most of the people my age didn't start working for the university until later in life so their years of service is relatively low and they can't (or won't) retire yet. Even with the state budget in shambles the University is staying with the DB structure though it is sure to be modified for current and new employees. The DB also has a COLA based on the state cpi. Health benefits payments are uncapped and doubled for me starting in January.

If you worked until age 60 and had 35 years in the system then you would get 87.5% of your salary. There are probably very few people who make it this far.
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Old 10-24-2010, 04:44 PM   #38
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You should include the unintended consequences of ERISA enacted under Jimmy Carter.

I'd add court interpretations of stakeholder and shareholder rights have had allot to do with it as well.
Carter ?

Employee Retirement Income Security Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1974

Not Carter . Ford

And the compromises and consequences were not "Unintended" but were needed to get the legislation passed
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:23 PM   #39
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I have a friend in a municipal fire dept. He tells me that calculated pensions are 50%-60% of average top three years of pay, but that everyone he knows that has retired was offered essentially unlimited overtime in their last year or two of service, so the pensions are usually closer to 80% of pay. Occasionally they go over 100% if enough shifts were worked. It's not exactly a secret, since virtually everyone in the department has done it in the last few years and virtually everyone in the department lets the about-to-retire guys take all the overtime, expecting they will take the extra when it is their turn. I have no objection to police and firefighters having a reasonable pension for the difficult jobs they do. This kind of nudge-nudge wink-wink twisting of the rules is objectionable. So maybe my buddy is not giving me an accurate story, I don't have personal knowledge of this practice, but I have no reason to not believe him either. Since he himself is IN the system, I think his account is credible.
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:32 PM   #40
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I HAD a pension and retiree health insurance from my first employer out of college.
I also had defined benefit pension plans from several employers. In all cases, the plans were discontinued or the company went out of business and the "benefits" for employees many years from retirement were calculated in astonishingly skewed ways. In all cases, the existence of these plans was a big factor in attracting employees and in allowing the company to pay lower wages than some other companies without such pension plans. I still believe I was deliberately taken advantage of by slick finance types who knew how to manipulate the discount factors to minimize costs and reduce benefits paid to employees. We never had a choice of any sort, nor any opportunity to negotiate the value of what was bait-and-switched, other than seeking new employment.
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