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Old 11-23-2011, 12:06 AM   #61
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It wasn't so long ago the job to get was a private sector job with pensions, ss, and the big perks. Nobody complained about public servants and their dead end jobs. The middle class is too busy bickering while the 1% gets a pass.
Hmmm... Retiring from my private sector job was exactly like quitting. Same benefits for either option.

None of the private sector jobs I held before retiring offered any sort of pension plan or medical.
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:29 AM   #62
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Even with the COLA people think public employees have these lavish pensions.

The public retirees from San Francisco are doing quite well:
Guess what’s the average San Francisco city pension? | City Insider | an SFGate.com blog

"The average retiree from San Francisco city government earns an annual pension of $46,272, according to the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System. The average retiree who worked at least 30 years in city government earns an annual pension of $76,981.

The average pension for a retiree from the fire department is $108,552. From the police department? $95,016. And everybody else? $41,136."

"
retirees are doing pretty well compared to working San Franciscans. Census data shows the median family income in the city is $86,546. Per capita income is $44,373."
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:06 AM   #63
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The public retirees from San Francisco are doing quite well:
Guess what’s the average San Francisco city pension? | City Insider | an SFGate.com blog

"The average retiree from San Francisco city government earns an annual pension of $46,272, according to the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System. The average retiree who worked at least 30 years in city government earns an annual pension of $76,981.

The average pension for a retiree from the fire department is $108,552. From the police department? $95,016. And everybody else? $41,136."

"
retirees are doing pretty well compared to working San Franciscans. Census data shows the median family income in the city is $86,546. Per capita income is $44,373."
I guess you didn't read the rest of the article. The averages are skewed by highly paid workers and the average meat and potatoes city worker there earn not much more than 20,000.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:22 AM   #64
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It wasn't so long ago the job to get was a private sector job with pensions, ss, and the big perks. Nobody complained about public servants and their dead end jobs. The middle class is too busy bickering while the 1% gets a pass.
You have that right. As many have said it is a race to the bottom while the big-boys and big-girls get more.

We need to remember that benefits for public employees vary greatly. I know that my medical insurance for the family is VERY expensive. We used my wife's ensurance because it was much cheaper than than adding her and the kids to my plan as a teacher. It varies. Just as compensation in the private world varies.

Some complain of no COLA for years. On the other, hand my neighbor gets nice raises every year and stands to make a small fortune when her employer goes public.

We all make choices in our lives including where we live, how much education we get, and for whom we work.
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:06 AM   #65
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I guess you didn't read the rest of the article. The averages are skewed by highly paid workers and the average meat and potatoes city worker there earn not much more than 20,000.
I know a guy in Seattle who started working for the local government at age 42. Exactly 20 years later he retired on a $44k annual retirement. He also has SS from this job.

I would like to know what government workers get $20k.

Also, to the 99%ers, these 1% guys are a problem, but we are not being directly taxed for their lush benefits.

Somehow I think that if my taxes get raised, it is more likely to go to some public workers pension than to anything that might help me like fixing the streets and sidewalks.

Ha
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:28 AM   #66
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We all make choices in our lives including where we live, how much education we get, and for whom we work.
I think that's all that folks are saying....... They (tax payers) want to make a choice. Some feel they can't afford to spend any more for the services provided to them by the public sector. So they'd like to try paying less and see if it's possible that they can still hire and retain competent employees to do these things for them.

If a sanitation worker in Chicago doesn't agree that having pay frozen or that having a less generous pension plan going forward is his best deal, he's completely free to move on. Perhaps he'll snatch up one of those juicy private sector jobs and join the ranks of the 1%! It's strictly up to him.

It's about choice. Tax payers want a choice about how much they're spending for what they're getting. If they're wrong and at lower wages or at less generous pensions they're dissatisified with the quality they're getting, then they'll have to eat crow and pay more.

It seems that tax payers are completely aware of the fact that some public sector jobs shouldn't be touched. Many would say that the military, public safety and some others need high pay and benefits to attract the best. Other areas seem overpaid vs the availability of applicants qualified to do the work. Tax payers simply want to be able to have more input about what's happening and to have input into the choices being made.

It's about choice. People are simply speaking up about what they'd like to do.
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:08 PM   #67
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I would like to know what government workers get $20k.
Teacher aides in our local school district start at about $14K. The benefits are almost more than the pay.
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:16 PM   #68
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It seems that tax payers are completely aware of the fact that some public sector jobs shouldn't be touched.
Why not? Does an able-bodied person need a $100,000 pension in her 40s? Maybe we should "experiment" and see whether giving them a pension at, say, 55, would still attract the finest that our tax dollars can attract?

Oh, oops, is this one of those "taboo" spending cuts?* Never mind. We take you back to your current zeitgeist. Cut spending!!!1!!!**


*Except in Ohio, where the anti-Union bill included teachers, police, and firefighters.

**But not for the things that I don't want to cut because, like, those are sacred.
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:42 PM   #69
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Why not? Does an able-bodied person need a $100,000 pension in her 40s? Maybe we should "experiment" and see whether giving them a pension at, say, 55, would still attract the finest that our tax dollars can attract?
Sounds good! Alignment of public sector jobs with market prices would be a good thing.
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:01 PM   #70
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I can't wait for them to align public sector IT job salaries with private sector! I will get a nice raise for sure! Throw in Boston area market pricing and that is icing on the cake!

The local newspaper just listed the highest public pensioners. 9 of 10 were police or fire with one school administrator as the 10th.

I would guess that there was a lot of pension spiking going on. It is too bad the paper didn't list their final salary as well as their pension.
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:31 PM   #71
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I guess you didn't read the rest of the article. The averages are skewed by highly paid workers and the average meat and potatoes city worker there earn not much more than 20,000.
According to the union rep. Looking at SFERS plan I am sure that folks who have only worked for 10-15 years are probably only get "about 20K" but somebody who has worked 30+ years is certainly getting close to 40K.

Take the SF sanitation engineer (aka garbage collector) the average SF salary for a sanitation engineeris 45K so a senior guy is probably getting close to $55-60k. Somebody who started working in his early 20s is going to max out his retirement benefit by his late 50s. (It is capped at in SF @75% of the final salary).Now collecting garbage use to be physically demanding job. It isn't so much with the automated trucks they use now. It certainly isn't a great job, but it isn't exactly a high skilled job either. So long time garbage collector in SF is going to retire in his late 50s with a pension in the 40-45K range.

I personally am more inclined to believe that an exact figure of $41,136 (excluding public safety employees) is more accurate than union rep say around $20K.
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:01 PM   #72
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Teacher aides in our local school district start at about $14K. The benefits are almost more than the pay.
Teachers aides where I live would have thought they hit the jackpot it they got paid that! They are around 11k-12k, here. My brother in law has worked for the county government as a road repair worker for over 15 years and he is right around 20k. Where you live and what your job is obviously effects salary.
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:07 PM   #73
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I know a guy in Seattle who started working for the local government at age 42. Exactly 20 years later he retired on a $44k annual retirement. He also has SS from this job.

I would like to know what government workers get $20k.

Also, to the 99%ers, these 1% guys are a problem, but we are not being directly taxed for their lush benefits.

Somehow I think that if my taxes get raised, it is more likely to go to some public workers pension than to anything that might help me like fixing the streets and sidewalks.

Ha
Well maybe we or you are not being directly taxed by the 1% for the so called lush benefits of public servants but aren't they the ones who are taking away the pensions and benefits of the private sector worker.
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:32 PM   #74
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Certainly, some public sector jobs have pension benefits that are much to generous. That should be corrected and we can see that many states and localities already are doing that. But, reducing public sector pensions will not mean that private sector workers suddenly get better pensions, better 401K deals, etc. Reading Retirement Heist shows that much of the money taken from employee pensions by private companies went (among other places) to enhance the pensions and benefits of the executives. Beware of what you ask for. We need fair, sustainable retirement plans for every person willing to work, regardless of their employer.
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:36 PM   #75
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Teachers aides where I live would have thought they hit the jackpot it they got paid that! They are around 11k-12k, here. My brother in law has worked for the county government as a road repair worker for over 15 years and he is right around 20k. Where you live and what your job is obviously effects salary.
Seriously? $11k a year for a 9 month position works out to about a quarter an hour more than minimum wage. If that is a 10 month position they are making less than the federal min wage. That stat is a little shocking.

Our TA's locally get over $11/hr with zero experience, increasing to $13/$15 for mid career and 30 yr veterans, respectively. After checking, our assistant lunch ladies are the least paid school staff at over $10/hr (and they get benefits).

This is in a non-unionized area that isn't particularly high cost of living.
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:38 PM   #76
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Are there any public employees out there going to give me a hand with this? I'll admit I get a decent pension but it is not way over the top like some of you might suggest
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:46 PM   #77
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Ripper1. I certainly can't retire after 20 years for anywhere near $44,000 a year. It would be more like 20,000. Keep in mind that includes some of my own money since I have been paying 6% of my earnings into the pension for 20 Years.
That's a lot of my money and its earnings. It's not all taxpayer money. Also I would like to know if the individual involved bought retirement credits to enhance his pension. They work like an annuity. Give the government a big pile of cash and collect a few hundred dollars more a month. Live long enough and it is a good deal. Die to early and your heirs will not be happy with your decision. :-)

Yes, I would get SS but why not? I have paid into it like everybody else. Surely, I am not to be denied SS because I worked 1/2 my life for a public institution?!?!?!?!?
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:52 PM   #78
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Seriously? $11k a year for a 9 month position works out to about a quarter an hour more than minimum wage. If that is a 10 month position they are making less than the federal min wage. That stat is a little shocking.

Our TA's locally get over $11/hr with zero experience, increasing to $13/$15 for mid career and 30 yr veterans, respectively. After checking, our assistant lunch ladies are the least paid school staff at over $10/hr (and they get benefits).

This is in a non-unionized area that isn't particularly high cost of living.
Yes, its under $10 an hour. They have 7 hour work days and work 175 school days a year. The ones that have been around awhile make a little more, but not much. The health insurance is the main draw, and most are not the primary income for the family. Oddly enough, there isnt that much turnover in those jobs. Some even have college degrees, but are content and enjoy what they do.
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:58 PM   #79
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Ripper1. I certainly can't retire after 20 years for anywhere near $44,000 a year. It would be more like 20,000. Keep in mind that includes some of my own money since I have been paying 6% of my earnings into the pension for 20 Years.
That's a lot of my money and its earnings. It's not all taxpayer money. Also I would like to know if the individual involved bought retirement credits to enhance his pension. They work like an annuity. Give the government a big pile of cash and collect a few hundred dollars more a month. Live long enough and it is a good deal. Die to early and your heirs will not be happy with your decision. :-)

Yes, I would get SS but why not? I have paid into it like everybody else. Surely, I am not to be denied SS because I worked 1/2 my life for a public institution?!?!?!?!?
I paid 8.5% of my earnings for 30 years into pension. No SS
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:58 PM   #80
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I don't know that the military is really a place where it could work well, especially not those who are deployed in combat-ready roles around the world.

I think we have to question the continued use of 20 as the "magic number", though, as well as the ability to start collecting at age 38. Many places start offering at least some pension vesting at 10 years and occasionally less, and as long as these are actuarially sound I have no problem with that. Maybe there should be more of a sliding scale, from (say) 10 to 40 years -- not just all or nothing at 20 (nothing for 19 years, full pension and lifetime health insurance at 20?). And most pensions don't allow starting the pension until age 55 or so -- maybe as early as 50, some as late at 60, but few allow being a pensioner at 38.

Also, depending what happens with health care reform in the future, that could make less military spending specifically on health care for military retirees which is necessary under the current (largely broken) health insurance model here.

In terms of any future cutbacks for military retirement, I'd hope at the very least decent people would agree that nothing should be taken from combat-disabled veterans, especially those too disabled to find work elsewhere. We certainly owe a lot to our veterans, and especially the vets and families who suffered casualties in combat or combat training. And nothing should change for those already in the service.
There are definitely plans beginning to be floated to do much as you outline above. The Administration wants to go to a more corporate type plan. There is one study floating around (done by the Defense Business Board - a group of industry high rollers who advise DoD) that essentially recommends a defined contribution plan with matches by the Government which vary by military speciality and current job. (An infantry soldier on combat duty gets a larger match than an admin clerk on shore duty in Hawaii.) The JCS and the various military organizations (MOAA, for example) are against any big changes. The major argument against a drastic change is that it will hurt retention and create a "hollow force" much as what happened in the late 70's when the retirement system was changed (i.e., made much less valuable) and retention dropped significantly.

As a military retiree myself I foresee, at a minimum, a reduction in COLA adjustments.

This is a very tough issue because, generally speaking, a military career is more arduous than a corporate one. There have always been deployments (6 -12 month carrier deployments for Navy, for example), unaccompanied tours (a year on Okinawa for Marines or a year in Korea for the Army, for example), unusual working conditions (time in the silo for AF missile folks, for example) and crazy, disruptive working hours (trying to keep drunken yachtsmen from killing themselves during summer weekends for the Coast Guard, for example.) The last 10 years has only exacerbated all of that for many military folks (multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, constant stress, disrupted family life, etc). Historically, the 20 - 30 retirement has been the pot of gold at the end of the career and many people, myself included, made decisions to stay for careers based partly on the retirement promise.

On the other hand, personnel costs (which include retiree pensions and health care costs) are eating DoD alive. Not sure how this will all play out but it will be very interesting to watch.
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