Originally Posted by Ready-4-ER-at-14
I don't know about other people without pensions, but I can barely read about large federal pension plans for non military with out feeling cheated. I would like to see those larger pensions means tested the way social security is.
No more 100k federal pension when social security is caped at ~ 30k. Just as there is no lock box with cash to repay social security participants, there is no lock box to pay the promised government matches and grants to these pensions. The government should be equally bankrupt on all old age promises and should have showed much much more restraint in being first to the feeding trough for it's self interests. Does anyone else get pensions based on a couple highest earning years outside government?
Actual contributed money by the participants and a reasonable partial match at moderate rates achievable to everyone seems fair in view of 401k type market penetration.
You are comparing apples with oranges - SS is a program that was initially established a an old age safety net. It was never - including now - intended to be a pension system that covered all the expenses of retirement. The federal pension system that was ended for new employees coming on board in 1982 or so is CSRS. That provides a 56% pension of an employees average high 3 years of employment. It was established to compete with private pension plans, which at that time, were common in industry, very generous, and made working for the government at relatively low salaries unattractive. Employees after that date get a pension that's much reduced - essentially 1% a year of their high 3 (30 years = 30%). But the government matches 5% of their contributions to a 401K like plan, the TSP (CSRS employees don't get the match).
These plans were set up to be pensions and employees pay into them, plus for the newer plan, since 1982, they also pay into SS. Unlike SS, the money for these plans has not been used to balance the budget and is available in the treasury.
How do you means test an earned pension if it's your only income? That makes no sense. And the number of civil servants retiring under the old plan drops every year as their numbers in the workforce shrink. Don't worry your little head off - we will all be dead in another 30 years or so.
What I resent most is that you somehow feel "cheated" because someone is getting something that you don't get
. Those who spent 30, 35, 40 years as federal employees earned those pensions and contributed to them for their whole careers. The pension was part of their total compensation package. As I have said in other posts on this topic, you had a choice of what job to take with what employer. You chose not to be a teacher, police officer, fire fighter, or other civil servant in a job that had a pension. Why should the result of your life choice and the fact that you feel "cheated" penalize those who earned their pensions? Plus, the most important fact - the payment of federal pensions DOES NOT add to the federal deficit. The money is there.
BTW, I have no problem with changing rules for new employees or those under the system for only a few years. SS is not bankrupt and benefits will not be reduced for another 20 or 30 years maybe more - and then to no less than 75% of what they would be. People will have plenty of time to make adjustments.
Get your facts straight before you vent about a topic you know nothing about.