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Old 11-23-2015, 08:43 PM   #121
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Only 4 years younger...that isn't bad...I was just a young retiree!


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Is she going to stay GF or become DW


Not saying to do it, or if you even can.... but you might be able to change your pension to have a survivor for a lower monthly amount...


Now THAT shows love if you do....
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Old 11-23-2015, 08:59 PM   #122
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Really? Since about 1983, new hires with the federal government have been under FERS, not CSRS. And I can assure you that new hires in FERS are not getting a sweetheart deal. FERS employees get 1% of high-3 pay per year of service, and new FERS hires (myself included) pay 4.4% of their check into that pension plan.

Yeah, CSRS retirement more closely resembled the sweetheart deals that still exist in a few state and local governments today. But only those who have been working for Uncle Sam for 35+ years are getting that great deal. The federal government was way ahead of state and local governments in terms of reining in unsustainable pension plans and finding a sustainable model which mirrors the "three-legged stool" approach to retirement.
It seems to alternate back and forth. The current Illinois Tier II plan (in effect for five years) is much less generous than the current Fed FERS plan.
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Old 11-23-2015, 09:16 PM   #123
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Is she going to stay GF or become DW


Not saying to do it, or if you even can.... but you might be able to change your pension to have a survivor for a lower monthly amount...


Now THAT shows love if you do....

Nope.. It is unchangeable once retirement officially starts. At that point we had only dated about a year, so we weren't far enough along to discuss "do you want to marry me so, I can declare you my beneficiary on my pension?" . And that is a serious discussion as it is a decent haircut, and if you got divorced a month later after retirement....Too bad, the pension cut is for life.
The ironic thing is although my retirement is way more secure than hers, marriage would help me more than her. I could get a $200 a month, $150 annual deductible gold plate health insurance plan.


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Old 11-23-2015, 09:57 PM   #124
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I was not looking for sympathy.... but the difference in a pension from a gvmt agency and what I can get is night and day... If I wait until I am 65 and get an annuity with DW, my cash balance will provide me $450 per month... one of my sisters gets $5,400, another gets $4,000 and even my mom who worked only 11 years and retired 35 years ago get $1700... All three also get SS, so that is a wash....

Just as an FYI, I had 15 years at this mega... my time at a previous one did not yield much money.... a few thousand dollars....


Hmmmm, I wonder how much match I have received over the years.... that would be an interesting number to know.... wonder if I can figure it out or not...
We would have to know all the details of your total compensation package to take a stab at whether those 15 yrs at Mega were well spent or if you should have bailed and joined your sister at her gig. Lets not go there.

I agree that the portion of total compensation represented by traditional DB pensions has dropped dramatically in the private sector. We all have to look carefully at total compensation in determining for whom and for how long we want to pull the plow. Comparing only pensions or only SS or only current direct compensation or only bonuses or only profit sharing or only 401k match, etc., might not be the best way to chose between job A or job B or job C........ etc.
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Old 11-24-2015, 02:52 AM   #125
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Really? Since about 1983, new hires with the federal government have been under FERS, not CSRS. And I can assure you that new hires in FERS are not getting a sweetheart deal. FERS employees get 1% of high-3 pay per year of service, and new FERS hires (myself included) pay 4.4% of their check into that pension plan.

Yeah, CSRS retirement more closely resembled the sweetheart deals that still exist in a few state and local governments today. But only those who have been working for Uncle Sam for 35+ years are getting that great deal. The federal government was way ahead of state and local governments in terms of reining in unsustainable pension plans and finding a sustainable model which mirrors the "three-legged stool" approach to retirement.
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That's not too shabby compared to SS. I just pulled up my SS income record for 33 years of work, and found out that I would have more under FERS than what I will get from SS. And I contributed 6.2% (not counting employer's share), not 4.4%.

Oh wait. SS earliest retirement age is 62. For FERS, at 62 one would get 1.1% for each year of service, not 1%. So, FERS would be better for me. At 62, FERS would be about 56% higher.

PS. Note that FERS scales up with income, while SS benefit is absolutely not proportional to income.

PPS. I used SS capped income, not gross income, in the above FERS estimate.
I never worked in the public sector, hence never knew nor cared about Federal retirement programs. But with my curiosity piqued, I did a bit of Web search and found the following.
Federal employees hired in 1984 or later are covered by the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS). Employees enrolled in FERS and first hired
• before 2013 contribute 0.8% of their pay to the CSRDF,
• in 2013 contribute 3.1% of pay to the CSRDF, and
• after 2013 contribute 4.4% of pay to the CSRDF.
All FERS employees contribute 6.2% of wages up to the Social Security taxable wage base ($118,500 in 2015) to the Social Security trust fund.

So, there has been a large increase in required contribution. Earlier workers got a sweet deal indeed. Note that prior to 2013, they paid the same 7% as the older workers under CSRS (pre-1984).

About the CSRS benefits for Federal employees hired before 1984 who were not part of SS, "the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) estimates the cost of CSRS to be an amount equal to 29.3% of employee pay. Of this amount, the federal government pays 22.3% and employees pay 7.0%".

So, the trend is obviously less benefits for younger generations, not just in the private sector.

For what it's worth...
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Old 11-24-2015, 10:52 AM   #126
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That's what I was thinking. And, if that's the case, all the more reason for prospective new Illinois employees to want to be on SS, even if it means dropping the current Tier II pension. Then they'd have their salary plus SS, period. No pension. No matching. No profit sharing. No stock options. No bonuses. It would be easy to understand the true value of your compensation. The state could set wages to attract and retain who they want. Employees could accept the simple terms (salary + SS and nothing else, nothing) or not. Employees could also leave if a more attractive situation presents itself leaving nothing behind. Everything they earned would be in their pocket when they walked out the door.

I know the politicians are against this. They don't want to pay into SS. And they want to be able to offer promises today that they don't have to pay until far in the future. But this "if you do this for me today, I'll give you a hamburger tomorrow" routine has certainly come to the point where we can see it doesn't work.

The folks in real limbo are the folks who are already retired or are deep into their careers and foolishly thought deferred compensation and post retirement perks would be honored. So far the courts are backing the retirees, but the politicians can always win by simply continuing to not fund the system.
"But the politicians can always wind by simply continuing not to fund the system." .......Yeah, there is a moral conundrum there. It appears now that the ISC is going to side with the City of Chicago Employees. The city council, Stephen Patton, has argued that by upholding the law that there would be guarantees in place now to fully make the contributions and that by doing so they are not diminishing but saving the pensions. He went on to say these pensions which represent workers other than police and fire would be essentially insolvent within 10 to 13 years. In other words he is saying that the funds itself would be responsible and the city would no longer be making any contributions going forward. At least this is what I gathered. To me this is morally wrong on lots of levels
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Old 11-24-2015, 02:30 PM   #127
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Yeah, CSRS retirement more closely resembled the sweetheart deals that still exist in a few state and local governments today.
This is true for many government institutions.

In my state, there are three pension plans, 1, 2, and 3. Plan 1 is the sweetest and has been closed since the late 1970's. Plan 2 is a DB plan, but, IIRC, the benefits take longer to earn and early retirement is not nearly as easy. Plan 3 is a hybrid, half DB, half DC.

This leads to confusion among the general population since Plan 1 is the plan that most current retirees are on, so many people assume that ALL public employees get the same deal. The reality is that most of the current workers, even many of the baby boomers are either on Plan 2 or 3, both of which are OK, but not as good as #1.

That said, I continue to maintain that pensions must be viewed as part of the entire compensation plan, and that makes the comparisons tough.

If I was a millennial or younger I would prefer to get my 'retirement benefits' as money that I can invest and control myself, 100%, nobody else can touch it. No politician, employer or corporate raider would be able to touch it.
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Old 11-24-2015, 03:14 PM   #128
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That said, I continue to maintain that pensions must be viewed as part of the entire compensation plan, and that makes the comparisons tough.
Not to mention you have to consider fringe benefits, too. Health, paid sick time, vacation, salary versus hourly wage with overtime, etc.
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Old 11-24-2015, 05:23 PM   #129
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If I was a millennial or younger I would prefer to get my 'retirement benefits' as money that I can invest and control myself, 100%, nobody else can touch it. No politician, employer or corporate raider would be able to touch it.
That is definitely something to consider, especially after what happened recently to the multi-state teamster plans.
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:57 AM   #130
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I got some good news (I believe) recently when my local state representative was put on the committee that oversees public pension policy. The young fellow has a Master's degree in Math and a PHD in Statistics. Hopefully, that will go a long way towards continuing the safe and sane pension policies that are guiding public pensions in the state.
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