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Old 08-18-2020, 11:25 AM   #121
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We will be enjoying a 3% at 50 from DH state employer. DH has done the job for 32 years while paying a percentage of his salary adding up to almost 500 k in contributions. Overtime is not calculated for his pension. Quite frankly DH puts in more hours in his management position for no extra pay than anyone I have ever met. Think 10 to 12 hour days 12 out of 14 days. He only takes off the weekend I don’t work. ( which I had to fight for! )

He deserves every penny of his pension. Most pensioners are required to contribute a portion of their pay to fund their pension at a much higher rate than SS payroll tax.

He can’t collect SS on his own record or mine. Pension haters forget that SS is a form of pension.

Few here would give up their SS so why take from Pensioners? Is it the well it won’t effect me factor? Or just the jealousy factor?
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Old 08-18-2020, 11:42 AM   #122
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I'm not putting the onus on the pension recipient. Every individual does what they can to work the system, exploit every possible benefit and maximize their return. I do, however, fault pension systems which create the potential for drastically unequal retirement income levels for people who've done similar work. That's what breeds much of the pension resentment we see today.
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Old 08-18-2020, 01:30 PM   #123
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We will be enjoying a 3% at 50 from DH state employer. DH has done the job for 32 years while paying a percentage of his salary adding up to almost 500 k in contributions. Overtime is not calculated for his pension. Quite frankly DH puts in more hours in his management position for no extra pay than anyone I have ever met. Think 10 to 12 hour days 12 out of 14 days. He only takes off the weekend I don’t work. ( which I had to fight for! )

He deserves every penny of his pension. Most pensioners are required to contribute a portion of their pay to fund their pension at a much higher rate than SS payroll tax.

He can’t collect SS on his own record or mine. Pension haters forget that SS is a form of pension.

Few here would give up their SS so why take from Pensioners? Is it the well it won’t effect me factor? Or just the jealousy factor?
I agree with you. As a general point, yes there is lots of jealousy in this world on all sorts of subjects. There just is.
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Old 08-18-2020, 01:45 PM   #124
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I will say that I'm not jealous. I simply think that some pension agreements are being "gamed" by individuals to boost the pension amounts far higher than was ever imagined by the original agreement. Here in Illinois, we have agreements normalize pension amounts to the single highest paycheck an individual received. On the last day of work they cash out 6 months of sick time, and the value of the city vehicle they decided to gift the individual. A salary of 60,000, becomes a pension based on the normalized last check amount to 250,000, and the individual gets a COLA pension that is 30% higher than their best year's pay.

Illinois has a state constitution that protects these agreements, and I'm not for throwing them out as they are important. Our teachers opt out of SSA when they enter their contracts, so this is all they have. Unfortunately, some individual contracts need adjustments.
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Old 08-18-2020, 02:51 PM   #125
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I do, however, fault pension systems which create the potential for drastically unequal retirement income levels for people who've done similar work.
(Emphasis added. Quoting this for a jumping off point, but not necessarily arguing.)

I agree with 6smiths who pointed out that the pension is part of the compensation package.

I am a state employee with a pension (that we and employer contribute ~7% of salary to) and no employer matching in the DC plan. If I did the same job in the private sector, my salary would be nearly double, and there would be employee matching in a 401k. So, yeah, the state compensation package is skewed towards future income at the expense of present income.

With that in mind, I don't see anything wrong at all with "double-dipping" on pension-eligible jobs.

Having said that, the system that KarlH objects to does indeed seem to be misguided. Our pension is average of highest 3 years, and even THAT seems too "gameable" to me. I think highest 5 might be fairer.

And the Madison bus driver situation? I gather that the union and the city renegotiated this arrangement to not allow so much overtime to be racked up going forward: https://webcache.googleusercontent.c...&client=safari
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Old 08-18-2020, 02:58 PM   #126
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If I did the same job in the private sector, my salary would be nearly double, and there would be employee matching in a 401k.
That's a very valid point. The military has a great retirement plan, but I know for a fact that I could have made several times my military salary in the private sector. I know because I was repeatedly recruited by executives during my Air Force career.

I stayed in for many reasons, and I'm glad I did, but it's important to look at the total picture when discussing pensions. There are always ways to improve both the fairness and the effectiveness of any system.
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Old 08-18-2020, 07:06 PM   #127
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I will say that I'm not jealous. I simply think that some pension agreements are being "gamed" by individuals to boost the pension amounts far higher than was ever imagined by the original agreement.


So doesn’t the organization have a responsibility to taxpayers to close loopholes to prevent the system from being gamed? I know it’s extremely tough to fix problems already baked into the system but going forward these loopholes need to be closed. I can’t blame the individuals.
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Old 08-18-2020, 07:13 PM   #128
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How is it 'gaming' the system when it's a pension, but not when it's filing taxes or ACA? I've read plenty here on how to maximize one's personal interests when it comes to those two subjects and not a peep that it's gaming the system.
When staying within the laws and rules of any of those programs, it's not gaming, it's just being smart. Who walks away from the table with money still on it anyways?
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Old 08-18-2020, 07:23 PM   #129
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If one works for the military, and qualifies for their pension, I see nothing wrong with them taking it, then continuing to w#rk. The job, like those of police and firemen, carry above-average risk, and part of the 'carrot' to sign up is the pension and benefits. Those who take the risk, make it to retirement age, then continue as a consultant or for another agency and w$rk for another 20 years deserve a second pension, IMHO. I'm not concerned about a lack of pension or retirement income equality. People choose careers based on the satisfaction they gain from them, the pay, the benefits and the location. Choose wisely, and you'll come out ahead, most likely.
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Old 08-18-2020, 07:25 PM   #130
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Who walks away from the table with money still on it anyways?
Almost every FIRE person (it's the OMY syndrome). Leaving a good-paying career at age 50 or 55 is, by definition, leaving your peak earning years on the table.
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Old 08-18-2020, 07:44 PM   #131
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It is interesting that my 84 year old parents, who never earned more than $25k per year were able to amass enough to put them in the top 50%. They’re frugal folks, haven’t had a mortgage nor any other debt since they were age 50, and drive their cars until they can no longer be driven (dad sold his 25 year old Nissan truck when they moved to AZ a couple years back...had about a quarter million miles on it and still ran great). That said, sometimes they are so frugal that they forget to enjoy, or simply forgo a simple pleasure from time to time. I’m also surprised where this table puts me, having been retired for nearly 8 years...I figured I’d have dropped a notch or two by now, but still holding steady.
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Old 08-18-2020, 07:56 PM   #132
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How is it 'gaming' the system when it's a pension, but not when it's filing taxes or ACA? I've read plenty here on how to maximize one's personal interests when it comes to those two subjects and not a peep that it's gaming the system. When staying within the laws and rules of any of those programs, it's not gaming, it's just being smart.
I and others that have taken advantage of ACA have posted about gaming it just like folks game all sorts of other gov't programs. Not going to dig those up but it's not like anyone playing ACA for max subsidies is pretending that they're not.

But yeah, it's just being smart no matter what program or pension you're (legally) taking advantage of.
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Old 08-18-2020, 10:13 PM   #133
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I and others that have taken advantage of ACA have posted about gaming it just like folks game all sorts of other gov't programs. Not going to dig those up but it's not like anyone playing ACA for max subsidies is pretending that they're not.

But yeah, it's just being smart no matter what program or pension you're (legally) taking advantage of.

Thank you. I stand corrected then.
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Old 08-18-2020, 10:58 PM   #134
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They’re frugal folks... drive their cars until they can no longer be driven
so far, so good...

Quote:
(dad sold his 25 year old Nissan truck when they moved to AZ a couple years back...had about a quarter million miles on it and still ran great).
I am confused. Do they drive their cars until they cannot be driven, or do they sell their cars when they are still running great? :?
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Old 08-19-2020, 12:35 AM   #135
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I look at these numbers and see the yearly income at a 4% withdrawal rate. Even the top 5% median person with a million bucks is only generating $40k a year. That is far from rich living.


Very true. But I how many people are like my dh and me.....”only” 2 million. But we have/will have 2 pensions. They don’t count in net worth, but make a big difference in our standard of living.
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Old 08-19-2020, 04:06 AM   #136
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I and others that have taken advantage of ACA have posted about gaming it just like folks game all sorts of other gov't programs. Not going to dig those up but it's not like anyone playing ACA for max subsidies is pretending that they're not.

But yeah, it's just being smart no matter what program or pension you're (legally) taking advantage of.
Do the same here with the ACA subsidies, plus Irrevocable Trusts for my parents.
No guilt here.
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Old 08-19-2020, 08:36 AM   #137
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so far, so good...



I am confused. Do they drive their cars until they cannot be driven, or do they sell their cars when they are still running great? :?
The truck was the only one sold before it had pretty much died. They gave it up because mom gave up driving, and they kept their newer, but still 14 year old car. Their 14 year old Corolla replaced one that was about 15 years old, that had been T-boned and totaled in an accident. The truck and these two cars are the only vehicles they ever bought new. I learned to drive at 16, in a used VW bus they had bought when I was 6, and in which my next sister two years younger than me learned to drive, as did my brother, seven years younger. Im not sure, but I think my youngest sister also learned to drive in it, but only in our Almond orchard when it was used in place of the old truck. At that time, the old Datsun truck (1300cc engine, 0-60mph in 57 seconds) had died. I think they sold the VW for scrap when I was about 30.
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Old 08-19-2020, 09:55 AM   #138
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The truck was the only one sold before it had pretty much died. They gave it up because mom gave up driving, and they kept their newer, but still 14 year old car. Their 14 year old Corolla replaced one that was about 15 years old, that had been T-boned and totaled in an accident. The truck and these two cars are the only vehicles they ever bought new. I learned to drive at 16, in a used VW bus they had bought when I was 6, and in which my next sister two years younger than me learned to drive, as did my brother, seven years younger. Im not sure, but I think my youngest sister also learned to drive in it, but only in our Almond orchard when it was used in place of the old truck. At that time, the old Datsun truck (1300cc engine, 0-60mph in 57 seconds) had died. I think they sold the VW for scrap when I was about 30.
Awesome stories! I love it. (Except for the T-boned part, obviously.)

Makes my 1995 Honda Civic seem sprightly and youthful!
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Old 08-19-2020, 11:15 AM   #139
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. Here in Illinois, we have agreements normalize pension amounts to the single highest paycheck an individual received...........Illinois has a state constitution that protects these agreements
That is not correct KarlH.

In reading your previous posts and comments, I noted much of what you said is not true. My guess is you're confusing "pensions from public bodies within Illinois" with "pensions administered by the state of Illinois." For example, pension benefits the sewer workers employed by your town earn are not a State of Illinois pension. They're a public pension from a town within Illinois. Two very different things.

Illinois has made some progress on the benefit side of state pensions. For example, teachers hired for the past 8 years have been hired to a new system called "Tier 2." Tier 2 eliminates opportunities for so-called "gaming" of the system, moves full retirement age out significantly, reduces the COLA to less than inflation and, generally, results in much smaller payouts. The remaining issues are: (1) Teachers hired prior to 8 years ago are still earning benefits under the old Tier 1 system and (2) the state refuses to fully fund the system annually. They always collect every penny of the 9%+ the teachers contribute, but generally skip or drastically under-fund their payment. It's kind of like an SS system where employers would be allowed to skip or under-fund their payment.

County and municipal public pensions are an entirely different matter. They are not protected by the Illinois Constitution but most have legal agreements requiring the employer to fully fund the pension each year. Those employees, IMHO, are much better off than the teachers and state employees despite not having the constitutional protection.
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Old 08-19-2020, 11:59 AM   #140
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Makes my 1995 Honda Civic seem sprightly and youthful!
We just, sadly, lost our 2000 Civic. One of the steel brake lines rusted out quickly leaking all the fluid from the system and creating quite a surprise for me! I got a couple estimates from shops I've done business with before and the price tag for redoing the system was too high to justify. (20 year old car with about 180k miles.) So, I sold it to a DIYer for $500 and waved goodbye.

That leaves us with only our older vehicles, a 1999 F150 and a 1999 Buick Century.

DW thinks it's time to start shopping!
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