Public employee pensions are taxpayers' nightmare

Associated Press
Feb 19, 2013

Excerpt from the Across the State editorial in today's Register: The state of Ohio faces a gap of $77 billion between what it owes to its five public pension plans and what it has funded. That’s more than the gross domestic product of Panama.

The mounting pension liabilities are putting pressure on municipal budgets that are already strained. These pension gaps will continue to be a threat to taxpayers unless legislators summon the will to make more substantial changes.

Click here for the e*Paper or buy a Register at a newsstand near you to read about Monday's police manhunt for an ex-con turned fugitive and his 48-hour crime spree. 

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Some experts, including the Pew Center on the States, point to Rhode Island’s reforms as a possible model.

Rhode Island suspended cost-of-living raises for retirees until the system is fully funded (that could be decades); raised the retirement age for all workers to be in line with Social Security’s guidelines; and created a hybrid traditional-401(k) style plan for current employees, not just new hires. 

Legislators need to work up the political courage to take the next step, rationalizing benefits for current workers, before the pension gap saddles future generations with unsolvable financial problems.

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Click here for the e*Paper or buy a Register at a newsstand near you for the rest of this Cincinnati Enquirer editorial and to read about Monday's police manhunt for an ex-con turned fugitive and his 48-hour crime spree. 

Comments

wetsu

Well said, coasterfan. Regardless of public or private we are being conditioned to accept a reduction in benefits for future generations in order to sustain defense spending and low tax rates for the wealthy. As a conservative person I denied what was unfolding before me for years. For all those so content to band together against the public sector I'm referring to social security. Beware of any politician who claims s/he wants to "strengthen" social security or touts "shared sacrifice", which means less for you and more for an increasingly smaller percentage of the population. Eliminating the income cap on contributions would be a start, but, that equates to corrupt politicians simply having more access to your money. These are the same people who tell you what our share of the federal debt is, that's rich (pun not intended). They took your money off the top, along with the employers contribution, and lived high on the hog. How many times should one be expected to pay for that money we never saw and will likely never see?

Keep your lynch mob going. The politicians need as many lemmings as they can get. After all, they spent your social security so they need to find an entity besides themselves to make the object of scorn. Divide and conquer. Drink up.

whocares

Why can't they be like everyone else and save for their own retirement. After I get done paying my taxes, I still have to save for mine.

Contango

OH needs to move like many states have to a defined contribution (DC) 401(k) type pension plan model for their public employees.

wiredmama222

@who cares....Amen to that. Amen

nobodyfromnowhere

Public employees do save for their own retirements. Between 10 and 15% of their salary.

Kimo

I'm not sure what the Sandusky Registers motive is for continuous bashing of public employees other than to stir the pot and generate hits. Or.... is it something else that I'm missing?
.

Contango

@ Kimo:

Informing is "bashing?" So much for the 1st Amend.

"...is it something else that I'm missing?"

Pew Research is a lefty organization - you tell me.

Kimo

The majority of people that have a 401k plan today are borrowing that money to survive in this trickle down economy.

When you have any retirement plan that is not mandatory, and one that can be tapped, it is doomed to fail.

401k plans were never meant to be a one-and-only retirement plan.

How many minimum wage and or part time "associates" draw enough money to save for retirement? Most do not.

That said; what do you do with them when they get old?
.

Contango

@ Kimo:

"Trickle down?"

Thank the Fed Reserve for partially balancing this economy on the backs of savers and investors with ZIRP.

What kind of ROI are you getting on your cds?

meowmix

What's wrong with you people? I pay MORE into my PERS than you do your Social Security! On top of that, the years I worked under Social Security and paid into it I won't be able to draw on. I don't get where you figure it's some type of perk--it's my equal to your Social Security.
Oh, and grandmasgirl, the regulations have changed regarding retirement age under pers. A person can't retire at age 55 with 25 years anymore (with the exception of a few who can get grandfathered in. Why do you think there was the big rush of public employee's retiring recently--due to rule changes! Now the service time is 32 years of age. A public worker can also save by contributing to a deferred compensation plan.
Also, great post coasterfan!

Contango

@ meowmix:

Comparing PERS and SS is absurd. Apples and dog feces.

One is backed by sound actuarial principles and funding methods, while the other is technically bankrupt to the tune of several tens of trillions of dollars due to looting and unrealistic promises.

You have combo DB/DC plans – most private sector employees do not.

When the govt. changes the rules for retirement - sure sign of a Ponzi scheme.

Keep believing that you deserve taxpayer guaranteed health and welfare benefits.

Care to take a stab at my question:

How do you make the IL public pension fiasco solvent?

The Big Dog's back

Bullspit.

nobodyfromnowhere

Illinois isn't our problem. They got themselves into their mess they have to figure out a way out. In Ohio our plans are funded almost to their required 30 year levels. Contrary to what the Cincinnati paper would like you to believe. I also find it funny how the Register likes to throw out a short blurb but can't be bothered to print even a complete article. Also a pension earned for 25 to 35 years of service is hardly government welfare.

Pete

So let me get this straight:

If the government would just extort 90 cents of every dollar someone earns, then public employees could retire at 55 with an outstanding pension.

Sounds fair to me! :rolleyes:

Contango

Tax Freedom Day 2013 in OH is Apr. 12.

Keep working serfs, the kleptocrats need more of your income.

Progressives: Be thankful that we don't take it all.

BEHAPPY

Well lets just take YOUR retirement!

Maggdi

Just thought I'd stop by to see how you Happy Class Warriors are doing today. Keeping those bourgeois commenters in line with your dazzlingly well researched facts and figures? Remember if you repeat something enough times, no matter how wrong it is, it will be perceived as truth by others that aren't as well informed as you are.
I see your mascot is doing his job by urinating on anything he's surely completely positive is wrong or just doesn't like. Good Boy!
Carry on Comrades! Onward Soviet!

Fromthe419

If you repeat something over and over again and expect different results is the definition of insanity :) The real problem as I see it is the divisiveness of our nation. BHO capaign 1...it's Bush's fault and the fat cats on Wall Street. BHO campaign 2...It's the 1%'ers fault, they are not paying their fair share. This whole class warfare has to stop. When we look at local issues it's now the entitled public unions wanting more and the tax payers/homeowners that have less and less. When it's not wage issues its additional fees, increased utilities etc. What are the answers? At this point I really don't know. With the increasing debt from the Federal gov't all the way down to it's citizens in may mean the combination of some school districts to share the costs and larger classrooms. I don't see any of the levies being put on the ballot passing (Edison, Norwalk, Perkins). About the only thing I can think of is bringing better paying private sector jobs to the area so those that graduate can stay in the area and become this area's taxpayers and not the bigger city taxpayers because that is where the jobs are. If the private sector is healthy and growing these issues won't be as divisive as they are now. Any thoughts?

Maggdi

The problem is that there aren't enough conscientious people out there who are conscientious enough to be trusted not to exploit the proletariat. Therefore we have no choice but to let them exploit, so we can confiscate there ill gotten gains.... sorry. And unfortunately there aren't enough people who are up for that kind of scrutiny.

Fromthe419

Maggdi, I wasn't trying to direct my thoughts at you directly, I agree with what you are saying. My point was to say that our politicians have intentionally made this all about class warfare. It us (pick a side) and them (the opposition). Rich vs poor, private sector vs public sector. They win when they can divide and conquer, it's all about the status quo. We mindlessly fight amongst our selves while they sit back and do nothing.

Maggdi

I know that was your intention and I apologizes for hijacking your thread. I admire the specifics you used to start one the conversations that needs to be addressed. You have tried to start a serious effort to figure out how to effectively educate our children. And there are few higher issues than that for our/their future.

Finn Finn

Just wanted to compliment you and 419 for your composed, well-thought-out comments; the very few on this site not intended to gloat, snip, intentionally insult someone or "tell someone off". Thank you for the civility.

Maggdi

Thanks Fin. But I don't think I've been good about the "... snip,(or) intentionally insult someone..." part. As to the rest I'll plead the 5th (if that still means anything?).
I will join you in complimenting 419. It nice to know that there are still class acts out there.

kURTje

Those complaning here need to give up their parents SSI & their own . You know..that government $$.

Maggdi

If there's any left for those 10-20yrs out, you're welcome to confiscate mine. I mean that's what this whole exercise is about, isn't it? The truly empathetic deciding who deserves to keep what at this point is legally theirs.
And although my totally awesome parents have departed this life they did collect SS. When I tell you they took care of their retirement through hard work, saving and investment ( while raising 6 children) but used alot their SS for gambling and travel, will you tell me they should have returned it?

Maggdi

oops

whocares

If less people are paying taxes how is the government going to fund their pensions. Some days funemployment sounds really good.

Pterocarya frax...

Please do quit your job and go on "Welfare". You will get to find out just how much fun those people are having.

Kimo

When you have any retirement plan that is not mandatory, and one that can be tapped, it is doomed to fail.

401k plans were never meant to be a one-and-only retirement plan.

How many minimum wage and or part time "associates" draw enough money to save for retirement? Most do not.

That said; what do you do with them when they get old?

Instead of a snarky comment answer the question.

What are you going to do with the "old" people that have no retirement money??

Is that why the big push for guns? You going to shoot them????
.

Maggdi

"401k plans were never meant to be a one-and-only retirement plan"..?..what were they meant to be? A supplement? Like IRA's? That the government swore was a sacred cow when it was offered... to be honest I have no answers on how to make sure everyone gets what they were promised. Mostly because the people who made those promises had no business making them to begin with.
When you have fewer people/workers paying for those obligations than there were when those obligations were made....you run into a math problem...

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