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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah
Old 08-27-2006, 08:41 PM   #21
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud
Tawney...

I have NO problem with you getting a pension that 'matches' what you should get... I do have a problem with politicians that keep making it 'better' just to get by the latest problem... or they say, we have it good today, so lets make the retirement better for ALL people who EVER worked here..

And why should 'we' pay a benefit based on only three years work If you worked part time for 25 years making say $15K per year and then got a great job making $75K the last three years... your pension is based on the $75K... YOU never paid anything close to this amount... your pension should be based on all those low years and the few high years... that is what my SS will be...

And why should 'we' be expected to work until 65, but 'you' can start a full pension at 55 that we have to pay for NOW, if they did not use ONE CENT of general tax money for your retirement.. I do not have a problem with whatever you got... but that is not the case... you are getting a LOT more than you put into the system..

And yes, the ones that are getting 'screwed' are the young... but in reality, they are probably getting what thier contributions can support, no more, no less..
Then throw the g=d darn bums out of office!!

$hit the american public are dumber than anything I can see. Keep re electing the same jerks we all hated in high school.
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah
Old 08-27-2006, 09:35 PM   #22
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud
*
And why should 'we' pay a benefit based on only three years work* If you worked part time for 25 years making say $15K per year and then got a great job making $75K the last three years... your pension is based on the $75K... YOU never paid anything close to this amount...* your pension should be based on all those low years and the few high years... that is what my SS will be...

* NOW, if they did not use ONE CENT of general tax money for your retirement.. I do not have a problem with whatever you got... but that is not the case...*
Texas Proud
I can't imagine how a person works part time at 15K for 25 years and then goes to the boss and says "give me one of them full time $75K jobs so I can retire in 3 years" .*

More likely the 15K librarian/school teacher/emergency medical tech who couldn't get the full time hours because of the voters electing the same old same old or a new flash in the pan who gives the taxpayers money to developers/Walmart/brother-in-law so they end up only getting partial credit for their parttime work that is multiplied by their age times their usually lower than private industry wages.* Thanks for your 28 years of service here's your $1100 monthly pension!

I don't know of many public sector pensions that are 100% employer funded.

Do you think dragging all the workers down to the lowest level is the solution?

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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah
Old 08-27-2006, 11:07 PM   #23
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah

The mess that government pensions are in is only a symptom of the bigger problem with government in general. Increasingly, we have demanded expanded and better services from our governments while not facing the reality that those improvements cost money. We’ve elected politicians who are willing to act like magicians who can pull rabbits out of their hats by giving us what we ask for while distracting us from the real costs of things.

Government pensions are an example of shorting the cost of employing all of the firefighter, cops, teachers, soldiers, garbage collectors, etc. by paying salaries that are lower than those jobs would really be worth. But since it’s hard to get people to fight fires, arrest bad guys, teach our brats, fight our wars and pick up our trash on the cheap; the costs get pushed off into the future when those people all retire. The employees accept the deal, the politicians pull the rabbit out of the hat, and all the taxpayers say “ooooohhh” and applaud.

We’re in a crisis with pensions because demographics and the markets have conspired to come together and unravel the cloth that the magic was made of. All the baby boomers that spent decades going into burning buildings, getting shot at by crooks, cursed at by teenage students, shot at by guerillas around the world and hauling off our nasty trash are retiring and they expect to get paid what they were promised. When the dance is over somebody has to pay the piper.

We’ve exacerbated the problem by voting for the man or woman who is the biggest whore for our vote. In what strange world would it make sense to pay millions to get a job that pays a few hundred grand? But it routinely happens in elections. Face it, from dogcatcher on up to the president, somebody is footing the bill and they want something in return. The people that get elected to public office are experienced whores by the time they get their hands on our tax dollars, and the inefficiency, waste and outright theft that takes place should not take any of us by surprise.

We need to heed the advice that most of our parents gave us: There is no such thing as a free lunch.
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah
Old 08-28-2006, 12:18 AM   #24
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah

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Originally Posted by newguy888
Then throw the g=d darn bums out of office!!

$hit the american public are dumber than anything I can see. Keep re electing the same jerks we all hated in high school.
I wish I could... almost all the republicans who said they were for less gvmt are spending money on THEIR favorite pork projects.. and they have increased the obligation of the US by trillions (Not billions) with this drug plan.. someone is going to have to pay it and I wish it was not my nephews and nieces and their kids...

I am not against paying money for things that are needed, but come on... we are just wasting money

But like you say.. the people get the current bum that promises them what they want in charge and nothing changes..
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah
Old 08-28-2006, 12:23 AM   #25
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah

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Originally Posted by honobob
Texas Proud
I can't imagine how a person works part time at 15K for 25 years and then goes to the boss and says "give me one of them full time $75K jobs so I can retire in 3 years" .


I don't know of many public sector pensions that are 100% employer funded.

Do you think dragging all the workers down to the lowest level is the solution?

I know of one person who is doing just that.. but their part time was more like $25K.. now full time at $75 so they can retire in a few years..

My sister did 41 years of teaching... and I suggested that she 'game' the system buy doing everything she could do to get extra pay the last three years... she taught summer school.. she tutored through the school.. she took classes that were paid days... and she got a higher pension...

So, yes, it does happen. And as I said, the worst one I read about was the Chief of Police for Houston a few years back.. he got ONE paycheck at a much higher pay and it bumped his pension up a LOT (I remember 10s of thousand a year)..

Yes, there are not many who are doing the part time gaming, but there were a lot doing the extra pay like my sister did..
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah
Old 08-28-2006, 12:34 AM   #26
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah

OH.....

And by the way... I FULLY expect that my SS will be reduced by a factor of 15% to 25% of what was 'promised' me... and I have been paying into that system for many years... and that system does not favor high salaried people.. and is based on your earnings for your whole life, not just the last few years.. so I am not asking anything different to happen to you that is not happening to me...

But, I am not asking that the current people that are receiving payments or that are about to receive payments be reduced, just that we start to scale back so we do not have a crisis in the future...
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah
Old 08-28-2006, 01:01 AM   #27
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
As they take away money from the back side (pensions) they will just have to give it up front on the salary.* My former employer is desperate for qualified new hires - they are offering $10,000 signing bonuses.*
By my observation Leonidas, you are correct.* And they consider it a good trade-off.* Many corporations are gladly providing signing bonuses, enhanced performance bonus structures, stock options and one year merit payments while reducing retirement benefits and permanent salary increases.* This enables them to pay more when things are going well and less when they aren't.* Pension promises and permanent salary increases lock the corporation into high labor costs regardless of business conditions.* It seems to be to their benefit to pay what it takes up front rather than lock in permanent higher costs.

Freshouts I hired in the last few years before retiring seemed pleased with our signing bonuses and starting salary levels and not at all worried that the Megacorp I worked for had eliminated the DBP pension and retiree health plan benefits for new hires.........

I was just glad they didn't eliminate pensions and health plan benefits for veteran employees........!* ** Yet!* *
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah
Old 08-28-2006, 01:19 AM   #28
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud

My sister did 41 years of teaching... and I suggested that she 'game' the system buy doing everything she could do to get extra pay the last three years... she taught summer school.. she tutored through the school.. she took classes that were paid days...* and she got a higher pension...
In Illinois, it was common for teacher union contracts to spell out that teachers who announced their plans to retire three years prior to retirement would receive large raises (15% - 20% area) in each of their final three years in lieu of their normal seniority step raises.* This enhanced their pension levels tremendously!

Effective this year, the teacher retirement system caught on and requires school districts who give these types of raises during a teacher's final three years to make significant incremental payments into the retirement system to fund the higher pension levels.* I think we'll see a reduction in the practice.

And yes, there is an amazing increase in extra duty contracts for coaching, summer school, tutoring, etc., during those final three years too!
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah
Old 08-28-2006, 02:47 AM   #29
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah



. and I suggested that she 'game' the system buy doing everything she could do to get extra pay the last three years... she taught summer school.. she tutored through the school.. she took classes that were paid days... and she got a higher pension...

Texas Proud

And where is your personal responsibility in this? Oh, nevernmind, you and yours got theirs. Maybe you should run for office.
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah
Old 08-28-2006, 05:28 AM   #30
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah

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Originally Posted by 2B
Anymore?* Based on my exposure to DMV, they never did.
Too bad. I've had very good service at the DMV in Maryland and Wisconsin (the last 2 states in which I have resided). When I moved to MD, the clerk gave me some advice which saved us several hundred dollars in taxes. The lines were long, but I don't blame that on the employees on duty -- they have to administer the eye test for each driver's license, for example, and that takes some time.
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah
Old 08-28-2006, 06:42 AM   #31
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah

Quote:
Originally Posted by honobob

. and I suggested that she 'game' the system buy doing everything she could do to get extra pay the last three years... she taught summer school.. she tutored through the school.. she took classes that were paid days... and she got a higher pension...

Texas Proud

And where is your personal responsibility in this? Oh, nevernmind, you and yours got theirs. Maybe you should run for office.
I am NOT going to tell my sister to not do what everybody else is doing so she can save the system a few bucks.... that is just plain stupid... and I am going to take advantage of all tax breaks I can take.. again, stupid if I do not (and I BET that all the dems who complain that we are not taxed enough are taking advantage of ALL thier tax breaks)....

The problem is that everybody can and most are doing it... so the volume of people doing it is great... but even if it was not.. the system is too costly... change the system for all...
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah
Old 08-28-2006, 11:35 AM   #32
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud
Finally, and this is from memory so it could be off a bit..* and it happened a number of years ago... the mayor decided to give the police chief a 'raise' just before he retired... he got ONE, yes ONE check at this higher rate... and his pension went up by many 10s of thousands of dollars a year.. the city counsel repealed his raise as quickly as possible, but it was too late.. he had gotten that ONE check and he now quailified for the higher amount...
A few years ago the military started tweaking the annual raise with targeted increases at certain ranks.* The idea was to raise retention among the mid-terms (those with 6-12 years of service) to retain their valuable experience & leadership skills.

Apparently the system wasn't perfectly executed.* So five months before I retired (at 20 years of service) I received a 5.7% raise that was immediately factored into my 50%-of-base-pay pension and my lifetime COLA.* That 5.7% could have been handed out as a one-time bonus or a tax-free allowance but it was handed out in the most expensive way possible... for the rest of my life.* I collected 10 checks at that new pay level and then retired.

While I had to shake my head at the math, I quickly appreciated that I was finally being paid another 5.7% closer to what I was actually worth.

Locally, UH finally severed its connection with Evan Dobelle.* The guy was the worst leader they ever had and he was essentially fired.* Yet, because he managed to hang onto the state employment system for five years, he's now entitled to $20K/year for the rest of his life!

The bureaucracy finds plenty of ways to use the rules against us. It's our job to find the loopholes and bring them to the attention of the bureaucrats, and I figure the best way to do so is to set a personal example.
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah
Old 08-28-2006, 11:48 AM   #33
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah

I guess I'm jumping in here kinda late, but a similar thing is happening right now in a neighboring city. The new police contract was apparently written in such a way that pensions were based on a person's highest pay. Wouldn't you know, a whole bunch of officers took all the overtime they could, then quickly retired. Some of them are getting pensions that are larger than their regular salary was! The whole mess is now in dispute (arbitrarion, lawsuits, etc.) Glad I don't live there!
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah
Old 08-28-2006, 01:50 PM   #34
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah

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I guess I'm jumping in here kinda late, but a similar thing is happening right now in a neighboring city.* The new police contract was apparently written in such a way that pensions were based on a person's highest pay.* Wouldn't you know, a whole bunch of officers took all the overtime they could, then quickly retired.* Some of them are getting pensions that are larger than their regular salary was!* The whole mess is now in dispute (arbitrarion, lawsuits, etc.)* Glad I don't live there!
I think this was the same for NYC... there were a lot of people retired after 9-11 with all the overtime they put in guarding the ruins... don't get me wrong... I think the police are paid little for what they do (not sure of NY, but for Houston it is true).. but a pension should NEVER be based on anything but base pay...ever...
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah
Old 08-28-2006, 02:24 PM   #35
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah

When the Feds changed to FERS twenty odd years back, the actuaries set it up to be self sustaining. The defined benefit portion (including COLA) is funded by the employee's contribution plus an agency contribution (which is actually paid into the system and calculated in the budget as a part of payroll cost). The DB part is supplemented by Social Security and a 401K package (Fed contribution also part of the budget). This is no different than any corporation. The main difference is that the DB portion is invested soley in Treasury issues just like Social Security (remember the "lock box") The fact that our elected leaders keep robbing the lock box is our own fault - we keep putting them in office.

Also, I can't remember the exact details, but part time work is credited for annuity calculations in proportion to it's comparison to full time. So someone who works 20 hours a week for 27 years and then full time for 3 does not get an annuity based on 30 years full time. You could pull that off by working full time for 27 years as a clerk and then getting hired on to a high paid job for three years. But the only way I can see that occurring is a political appointment . Once again, we reap what we sow.

The impression I got years back when I used to pay attention to this stuff was that a lot of state government's were structuring their retirement systems along similar lines. Did they bail on those efforts?
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah
Old 08-28-2006, 08:35 PM   #36
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah

The bottom line is that if the last year or two or three for that matter are padded they should not count toward the pension. That is plain manipulation of a poorly regulated system and give people like me and others who work our arses off for 30 years playing by the rules and NOT kissing anyones srae look as bad as the scum who do that.

Heck In NJ I coached three seasons and made an additional 20K a year BUT it DOES NOT COUNT TOWARD MY PENSION!!

But to read about pension abuse you would think I am making out like a bandit.

Nope I sold my overpriced house moved to a cheaper area bought a great new house with a small car payment for a mortgage and decided to take the early retirement benifit which costs me 11% forever and will work part time to enjoy life and not be a slave to about 10K additional pension if I stayed 4 more years. I could be dead in 4 years, I will have recieved 140K over the next 4 years and my lifestyle will be soooo much better!
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah
Old 08-28-2006, 09:12 PM   #37
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah

Wow you guys sure get hot under the collar

First off there is a big big difference between the Feds and local govs. No comparision. Under CSRS if you didn't complet the time and age requirement you didn't get anything, like the military. Also CSRS didn't pay into Soc Sec and if they do get a little it is severly reduced by law, hows them apples??

Under the new Fed Employees Ret system one contributes into one's own account and manages their own 401k like program and there is a small pension based on years of service and average of top three also with an age factor thrown in to screw things up a bit. But, the new fed employee can and does contribute to Soc Sec and will collect benifits as anyone else, or not as the case may be.

It is a complicated system and most employees cannot explaine it to themselves or anyone else. Very little counseling is given on its benefits and potential.
How ever it is saving money for the taxpayer as it is fully funded by both parties.

My 2 cent worth
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah
Old 08-28-2006, 10:36 PM   #38
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah

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... don't get me wrong... I think the police are paid little for what they do (not sure of NY, but for Houston it is true)…
Amen, Brother!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud
but a pension should NEVER be based on anything but base pay...ever...
Not saying who still puts paychecks into my credit union account until I officially retire…but, I do happen to know a few things about how HPD salaries and pensions are calculated (I collect weird trivia). It’s an interesting story and explains why that agency’s pensions include pays other than just base salary. It also illustrates how such things tend to come about.

Prior to 1998, HPD pensions were calculated as a percentage of base pay. In the early 1980’s, it was one of the best paying major city departments in the country and attracted lots of applicants from across the nation. That’s a good thing, because 2,500 applicants will produce 75 new hires for the academy. However, by the late 1990’s the department was not even competitive within its own county and the pool of interested applicants was shrinking while active employees were leaving for better paying jobs at other agencies.

In 1998, then Mayor Lee Brown agreed to give HPD a much needed pay raise to try and stem the tide of trained and experienced employees leaving. He told the police union that there were X dollars in the budget available to fund the raise and they should make some proposals as to how it would be allocated. The major proviso being that increases to base pay should be kept to a minimum. The main reason for that provision was that Houston local law requires that police and fire base pay always be equal. Every dollar budgeted for police base pay equals about 50 cents going into the fire department budget. Since the fire department was well paid compared to other big city departments (and the mayor and the fire union hated each other), the money would have to be allocated in new pay categories to insure most of it went to the police department.

Some of the extra pay is not considered when computing pensions (equipment pay, most overtime, training pay, etc.) but others, the ones that directly contribute to improving the department’s ability to do its job are part of the pension. Most of those are based on individual employees achieving higher levels of education, being awarded upper level licenses from the state licensing authority, working in hazardous assignments, learning a foreign language or ASL, being assigned to night or weekend shifts (when it’s busier), or filling jobs that would normally go to a higher paid/rank employee. Overtime is only added in if it is part of a “strategic patrol” function that the department has identified as critical to operations, and then it is figured on a three-year average.

Some people did "game" the system for a brief period of time when there was transition from one pay and retirement concept to another. A few people took advantage of loopholes that existed for a brief period of time. I'm sure, hypothetically speaking, that if I found myself near retirement and saw such loopholes wherever it was that I worked, that I would have taken advantage of as many of them as I could. But, the loopholes are closed now.

What currently exists is a system of extra pays in addition to base pays, with the extras promoting more educated employees who want to work the busy shifts, who want to take on the more demanding and dangerous jobs and learn new skills that will directly benefit the people they work for. All new hires have associate degrees or better, most mid managers have bachelors degrees and all upper level managers have at least masters degrees. But that's just the minimum level. It's not too uncommon to have everyday uniformed patrol officers who have LLD's or PhDs.
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah
Old 08-28-2006, 11:29 PM   #39
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah

At the risk of adding gasoline, it seems wise to point out that it doesn't matter what's right and who is owed what. If there's no money there, there's no money there.

In this context, I'm wondering about the Orange County bankruptcy of some years ago involving some kind of municipal bond offering. It would seem that like United Airlines, a bankruptcy filing could erase even a government pension. As for the feds, when they need the money they'll just redefine the inflation adjustment. Or . . . people for years have been saying the enormous gov't debt will eventually force a bankruptcy. I always thought that was wacko, but who knows ?
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah
Old 08-28-2006, 11:56 PM   #40
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Re: Wow! Wild! OOfah

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At the risk of adding gasoline, it seems wise to point out that it doesn't matter what's right and who is owed what. If there's no money there, there's no money there.

In this context, I'm wondering about the Orange County bankruptcy of some years ago involving some kind of municipal bond offering. It would seem that like United Airlines, a bankruptcy filing could erase even a government pension. As for the feds, when they need the money they'll just redefine the inflation adjustment. Or . . . people for years have been saying the enormous gov't debt will eventually force a bankruptcy. I always thought that was wacko, but who knows ?
Chapter 9 gives municipalities some incredible protection from creditors. They can't be force to sell anything held "in public trust" like city hall or the library, and they don't have to turn over tax revenue. The bankruptcy courts also face a lot of restrictions as to how far they can go in forcing a bankrupt city to change how it spends money.

Just another reason that I am thrilled that my pension system is independent from the city.
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