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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-20-2006, 09:52 AM   #41
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

Dreamer,

Well said! I retired under CSRS with 32 years (plus a years unused sick leave). It was savings and investments that allowed me to retire at 55, not the pay and pension from Uncle Sam.

Grumpy
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-20-2006, 10:34 AM   #42
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamer
I have always paid more into my civil service pension fund than people do for social security and I also pay into Medicare.
You do realize that most people put 15% a year of their salary into SS (employee plus employer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamer
The government has never put 1 cent into my thrift savings plan and I have had it since it was first offered. My pension which will be less than $40,000.00 per year will be lowered since I want to leave my spouse part of my pension if I die first.
That means your pension is the equivalant of about $800,000 lump sum. Not bad for retiring at 53. Is this in addition to your thrift plan? (Do I understand this correctly? I may be wrong here). That is about twice what I will get for 45 years of paying 15% of my salary into SS, and I do not have an RE option. Does yours look better now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamer
Your social security benefit is not lowered in order to provide for your spouse.
Not true. My wife and I both work, so both of us will loose the 50% spousal payment. Image if your employer told you they were taking 33% of your pension away because your spouse works so you do not need it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamer
I have never received a stock option, Thanksgiving turkey or a Christmas bonus.
I had to buy my stock with cold cash, no options here. I do get a nice bonus as a result.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamer
I will never receive any of my spouse's social security. I worked under social security prior to working for the gov and if I finish getting the needed credits, then my social security benefit will be figured a different way which results in a lower amount of money.
I will never get any of my spouses either (see above). Count yourself luck, because you manged to escape (mostly) helping to fund the world's largest welfare program. No, not all your payments go to welfare (you get a small amount back in the form of SS when you retire), but a majority does. My fondest desire would be to opt out of SS with an ironclad aggrement to never get any benifits. You know what the government will not let us? Becuase they know many pay in far more than they will ever get out.
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-20-2006, 10:53 AM   #43
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

I think I may have come across wrongly. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH PENSIONS FOR GOVERNEMENT EMPLOYESS. However, pension shoud be fully funded on a year-to-year basis in such a way that future taxpayers do not pickup the burden, but rather the cost are picked up by the current taxpayers who voted the benifits (through their elected representatives). I also happen to think government employess should not be allowed to strike or participate in collective bargining, but that is a totally different issue . All government employees should also have to participate in funding SS (my understanding is that they currently do).
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-20-2006, 11:01 AM   #44
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbuzzard
I All government employees should also have to participate in funding SS (my understanding is that they currently do).
Only those hired after 1984 who are covered under the FERS retirement system contribute to and receive benefits from SS. Those hired before 1984 and covered under CSRS do not contribute to SS and do not receive benefits from SS.

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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-20-2006, 12:35 PM   #45
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

bbuzzard---I don't know if you're talking about all government employees or just federal. I can tell you right now the rigth to work states have extremely low pay for police officers (no unions). Those states typically have starting wages about 20000-25000 per year and not much in the way of pay increases. Would you put your life on the line for someone you don't know for that amount? I'll tell you now the hassles of the job are not worth that small amount of money.
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-20-2006, 01:19 PM   #46
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by lets-retire
bbuzzard---I don't know if you're talking about all government employees or just federal. I can tell you right now the rigth to work states have extremely low pay for police officers (no unions). Those states typically have starting wages about 20000-25000 per year and not much in the way of pay increases. Would you put your life on the line for someone you don't know for that amount? I'll tell you now the hassles of the job are not worth that small amount of money.
The statement is applicable to both. This discussion is noth wether or not gav't employees are overpaid. I am sure some are overpaid and others are underpaid ( anecdotal data from trusted friends seems to indicate 33% or the empoyees do 90% of the work, so that would suggest severe overpayment and underpayment at the same time). I do know some samll town police officers, and I know there pay is very low. OTOH, I also know big city police officers who are clearly overpaid. Note that a private in Iraq is at much higher risk, and is paid about the same.

Regardless, the point is that future taxpayers should not pay the salaries of surrent employees. This is wrong.
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-20-2006, 01:20 PM   #47
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

God, Buzzard, learn to type!
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-20-2006, 01:40 PM   #48
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbuzzard
God, Buzzard, learn to type!
OK, stop harassing the posters.

FYI, you can go back and correct errors on your posts. Just look for the "modify" button...
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-20-2006, 02:03 PM   #49
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

There's a lot of speculation on what government employees make, but I work for the govt. So let me give you my experience, in my area $35.00 per hour would not be accurate, more like $24.00 hour.

I started my career in govt. making 50% less then I did in the private sector. It takes me 7 years to make maximum. After that you get a 2 or 3% cost of living raise per year. My insurance is free but it's an HMO and I pay 20% of my prescription costs, but I must admit I have a good retirement package.

I do get a generous amount of sick days but I need 30 years at age 55 to get maximum retirement. Which is impossible for me to do.

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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-21-2006, 09:32 AM   #50
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

I have, in the interest of self-disclosure, posted this before:
1.* Military pension
2.* Mega-corp Pension
3.* Early Social Security for me.
4.* Early Social Security for DW.

Retired at 60 1/2.* Don't feel guilty about taking the money and running.* Do I deserve it?* Probably not, but it was there and I took it.

That being said, I insist that I could/would not have retired without TRICARE. In the U.S., you must cover that base.

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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-21-2006, 10:46 AM   #51
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

I feel myself getting caught up in this confessional disclosure frenzy.

All my life I dreamt of obtaining a government job.* * To that end, at various times I was employed by the Departments of Defense, Transportation, Labor, and Treasury.* I lurched through the entire GS scale with the exception of the first two, finally finding equilibrium down one to nurture my inner INTP and lessen social bloviating requirements.* The journey had high points and lowpoints, although the lowpoints are my personal favorites.* Want embarrassment?* Hit the silent alarm as a Customs Inspector when a gentleman who later ended up being a Vice-President of South Korea (they evidently have many) triggered a hit on the NCIC computer.* Boy was he surprised (along with everyone in line) when two plain-clothed and two state troopers pulled their weapons!* Use your diplomatic passport next time, bucko.* And how was I to know that everyone in the country was named "Kim."* Other bumps included briefly being taken hostage by a deranged client with an improvised bomb on the 37th floor of the Minscoff building in Times Square.* The Daily News had their own take on the incident (noted more for the traffic tie-ups than any lasting damage), "and dozens of New York's finest stood ready to douse the human fireball should he pull the trigger..."* This did result in a minor kerfuffle when I evidently violated several provisions of the Federal Privacy Act--hey, I was only 24--by speaking to reporters.* Hey, someone sticks a mike in your face, whaddya gonna do?* This did result in an accelerated transfer to my beloved city, prompting some of the cynical oldsters to wonder if I had somehow orchestrated it.* I am not that smart, but didn't dissuade the speculation.

In the late 80's I wormed my why tangentally (well, my voice did) into a lead story on the three networks.* Things quieted down, rode a desk for years, did a few details to Washington to bump the grade level, briefly bounced around aerodromes in a really really cool looking plane.* 9/11 occurred, along with the resulting frenzy and coincidental reorganizations.* I maneuvered myself into an oversight job for a job function that I suspected would be contracted out.*No doubt somehow diabolically contrived by haha.* Basically for the last year I was just mailing it in, devoting my energies toward torturing non pension types on earlyretirement.org.* I was offered a coveted Early Retirement, fretted, dithered, vexed, but finally jumped at age 47 with a respectable, but still shy of 50K, pension.

This all goes to show you, if you aspire to be counted among la creme de la mediocre, you too can fulfill your every dream.


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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-21-2006, 11:19 AM   #52
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

Good stories Tozz

More about the late 80s "incident?"
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-21-2006, 12:24 PM   #53
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

Buzzard--I agree about the private in Iraq. He doesn't have a union either. If you think the large city agency was over paid, think about what would happen if they decided to not show up. Some people would be ok the rest so sorry. Believe it or not at one time I was very anti-union, until I worked for an agency where the boss was out to cut as many benefits as possible. This same person was notorious for cronisim. That lasted until the union members started filing grieviences and winning them.

I agree with the future taxpayers not paying for the current employees. The only way to stop this though is to cut non-essential spending. The non-essential spending can be found in the Constitution. What is madated in that document is essential, everything else is non-essential.
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 01-22-2006, 08:55 AM   #54
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

Well, over a beer or two the Irish in me is only too happy to dig out a war story.* (The secret of the Irish, replace all memory haze with embelleshment.) And if I snap my neck around quickly enough, I can even catch the eyes rolling.* However, the googlefied internet gives me pause, and a rare moment of restraint.*

Suffice to say, my bit role had a handful of lines, the money quote being a stammered "He did WHAT?!?!..."

Quote:
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More about the late 80s "incident?"
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 02-08-2006, 10:44 AM   #55
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

Hi,

I'm new to the boards, but I am a federal employee so thought I'd add my story as sort of an introduction. I am part of FERS, so will get a pension, I do pay SS taxes, and I contribute to TSP (the gov't 401(K)) plan. My original goal was to retire at 57 (minimum required age for me is 56 years, 10 months), but now I am working toward retiring at 52 with a deferred retirement. So, I need 5 years of income before the pension kicks in, and 10 years before SS kicks in (assuming I don't get early SS).

Since it is a possibility that I will move and go private sector (due to family situation), there is a chance my pension will be a lot less than what it would be if I stayed with the gov't for the next 15 years (I am 37). I guess for me, I don't want to calculate/rely on a huge pension benefit since it is unsure if I'll stay in the gov't until I retire. So, for my calculations, I use today's benefit amount instead of a future-expected amount. If I do end up staying, I'll be better off.

I'd rather be cautious in the calculations, but I do recognize that the pension is a big help. On the flip side, with no bonuses, stock options, or other perks, I can't talk about retiring at 40 or 45, like some others want to do. But, I'm not complaining.

Karen
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 02-11-2006, 09:03 PM   #56
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

They are offering the early out where I work and I sent for my retirement package yesterday. It appears that my retirement date will be 09/01/06! I will have 33 years and 11 months counting my sick leave. I can't wait!

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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 02-11-2006, 09:16 PM   #57
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamer
They are offering the early out where I work and I sent for my retirement package yesterday. It appears that my retirement date will be 09/01/06! I will have 33 years and 11 months counting my sick leave. I can't wait!

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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 02-12-2006, 06:55 PM   #58
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

FERS vs CSRS...

Back in the day, (CSRS) pensioners did, in fact, have a large chunk of their high three come back to them as an annuity.* OTOH, we NewAge (FERS) guys are rewarded with a three tier system that includes full SS (as we have paid into it fully), TSP (with up to a 5% match), and the 'basic' annuity, 1%/yr.* So my gonna' be 30 years at the arguabley average WG 12/5 $34/hr high 3 will gross me 21K.* Being a Reserve technician, however, I can go out early (gonna be 54).*

This ammount represents more than beer money, and is PART of many legs that my ER will depend on.

I promise full disclosure in any future posts...

dc
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 02-13-2006, 06:49 PM   #59
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

I guess I don't understand the animosity against federal pensions. When I took my job with the federal government, part of my contract was the ability to participate in the CSRS pension program. I contributed to it and the TSP to do what these boards suggest you do...maximize your accumulations. I agreed to take a 70 percent reduction in my social security, even though I was fully qualified for the program through contributions made from jobs I have held since I was 14. The same reductions apply to any employment I elect to enter into after retirement from my government posiition. As someone correctly pointed out in this thread, my salary and my cost of living pale in comparison to my legal counterparts in the private sector and I never saw a stock option, a Christmas bonus, a patnership split or anything of that nature. And, I never complained. Now, that I plan to take my pension, I am supposed to feel guilty? Why? How are federal workers who pay the same taxes as other "taxpayers" somehow a burden on society? If Congress hasn't fully funded (whatever that means) the government pension program, hold them accountable, not me. I'm just finally reaping the one significant benefit of the contract I made with the public for the past 27 years. Is it a five iron or a six iron from here>

setab
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE
Old 02-13-2006, 10:45 PM   #60
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Re: Government Pensions and FIRE

Quote:
I guess I don't understand the animosity against federal pensions.
Not animosity - just jealous that we do have one. 8)
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