7 thoughts on “Forbes post, “Public Pensions And Public Trust”

  1. Your statement regarding lowering the retirement age for future state pensioners is incorrect.State after state have increased the retirement age and in the past 15 years benefits have been drastically reduced.You fail to mention that the average salary for state and municipal employees is dwarfed by the private sector.People choose government service for a number of reasons,getting rich isn’t one of them.The fact that the states and municipalities have failed to invest funds properly should not be the fault of the worker.Promises made should be promised kept.Why dont you instead focus on the fleecing of the American worker by corporate greed.Its under reported and shameful the average American has to work two and three jobs just to raise a family.Parents high five as they pass each other on their way to the next job.

    1. You have reasonable points. However, the more recent increases in retirement age (e.g., Illinois’ “Tier 2” benefits) were preceded by generous retirement age reductions, e.g., 30 and out, rule of 85, etc. Also, the question of how public sector and private sector salaries compare is in dispute, but at the core of my complaint is that legislators and unions both agreed to provide generous pension benefits as a trade-off to higher salaries, because the generous pension benefits could be funded by future generations instead of right now.

      1. In some instances this is true. In New York State they are now up to Tier 6 with a cap on double dipping. Now I believe only 15k over your base salary can be averaged in. Many retirees earn as much or more than their final average salary with COLA. But many have passed on because Tier 1 ended in 1973. We have to define what you believe is a normal pension vs. an exorbitant one.All these comments are true in a sense but every situation is different. Individuals that gave up wages means that they had deferred compensation in which the employer did not have to pay taxes on. and it gets more complicated. look out America if earned pensions are taken away . The money is going to have to come from somewhere.

    2. You fail to mention that the average salary for state and municipal employees is dwarfed by the private sector.People choose government service for a number of reasons,getting rich isn’t one of them.
      Unskilled GED educated, rank and file gov jobs like cop and firewhiner are making more than ANYONE in the public AND private sector, including Doctors, Lawyers, Judges, Dentists, Nurses, even the POTUS. They are, literally, becoming MULTI-MILLIONAIRES, in less than 1 year in some cases (like new LAPD Chief Moore). GED educated Gov employees are becoming multi-millionaires. The new 1%er’s. New LAPD Chief Michael Moore pulled down $1.5 million in a one year time frame ($1.27 million DROP pay out included). It will top $2.5 million at the end of his second year, and will pay out $550K every year after. So, where in the private sector does that happen? Where unskilled Gov jobs pay out MILLIONS ? No where, that’s where. So stop the spin that public employees make less forbetter benefits. The make FAR MORE in every aspect. And I am not even going to count the value of their time off (15-40 days PAID vacation, 14 PAID holidays, 12 PAID sick leave days- all “bankable”):
      “$1,270,000 DROP fraud (unheard of in real life)+ $170,000 unused sick leave (unheard of in real life)= $1,440,000 in cold hard cash, + $240,00/year pension at age 53 (unheard of in real life) + $299,000/year salary ($539,000/year total) = $1,440,000 + $539,000/year pension-salary = $1,980,000/First year pay out.

  2. “If unions don’t want their members subject to the risks of individual accounts, let them run plans for their members and take on the risk themselves, negotiating with employers for fair contribution levels in line with the private sector and educating their membership on the need for additional voluntary contributions.”

    The unions did the same thing with regard to multi-employer pensions. Enriched benefits for those cashing in and moving out, and screwed younger generations.


    Business? How about GE.

    Look beyond pensions and you’ll find that every deal, decision and trend of the past 35 years has gone the same way — to benefit Generation Greed, at the expense of those to follow. It’s about values, the values of a generation, something appearing in public discourse in the UK more than the US.


  3. Larry: We were subject to the risks of individual accounts in the form of a defined benefit pension. If you do the math benefits were cut in the fund on a continuous basis. So would would be the difference of a monthly benefit cut or a loss in your 401K. Trustees aimed to shift the losses to the retiree the greatest . Current workers still maintain increased pension contributions and salary. retirees can’t play catch-up football. do you think UPS is contributing enough in upstate New York with contribution levels of 33-36k a year per employee?

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