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

Contango

Kimo writes:

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

Call the Fed Reserve and have 'em print another couple trillion dollars worth of "funny money?"

For one: Since 70% of nursing home care is funded by Medicaid and there are approx. 78 million baby boomers, I guess this society will eventually find out.

General strike by the unions in Greece.

If U.S. citizens care to pay attention, they get to see what austerity looks likes when inflated political promises run out of money.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/2...

The New World Czar

Wait...the Register is just picking up on this?

Maggdi

Heh!
Their just making it a possible reality... to then be scorned... and then be blamed on the evil "rich". Those selfish hoarder types. You know?

meowmix

I find it ironic that those posters on this thread who somehow feel cheated by people who pay and retire under PERS are the very same ones who worry about the extremely wealthy having to pay their fair share. Yep, I feel resentful of the county worker who works for 30 years earning $14.00 per hour at retirement time that will maybe get $1,700. per month in retirement benefits (this prior to his/her medical costs being deducted). I don't get the logic that all PERS contributors are earning the big bucks. Heck, I know of a kid who just got a job at a local factory--starting pay, $17.00 per hour. Not too bad.

Finn Finn

I guess it's all relative. I don't understand how you can be derisive of $14.00 per hour (non-factory) and $1,700 / mo. retirement!!! I've worked 30 years as a legal assistant and make $12.50 / hr. My husband, who is a 36 year steelworker, will get $1,200 / mo. in retirement. He also can not collect that retirement until he turns 62 - no 25 or 30 years and out! While I'm not going to begrudge, or resent, a 30 year wage earner his or her retirement benefits, I can't understand why you sniff at $1,700 / mo in retirement benefits?

meowmix

I hardly think that a steelworker who has 36 years under his belt is only going to get $1,200 per month in Social Security--unless he only worked 15 hours a week at minimum wage! With your work history you will even receive more than $1,200 per month I'm willing to bet. Once again, say you don't begrudge or resent and then imply public workers just have it made. Sniff**

Finn Finn

FYI - my latest SS statement states I will receive a whopping $1,120.00 SS benefit, and that's only if I work until my FULL retirement age of 67 years. So I can expect to work another 15 years added to the 35 I've already put in, to receive (according to your post) $500.00 less than the 30 year PERS employee. So you see, it really isn't "my equal to your Social Security". The gist of this article is that "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", a "taxpayers nightmare" indeed. Yet all you PERS whiners ("Yep, I feel resentful of the county worker who works for 30 years earning $14.00 per hour at retirement time that will maybe get $1,700. per month") still think you're getting the short end of the stick for some reason?

called out

Why don't we stop handing out so much money to welfare, wic, food stamps and every other type of gov't hand outs for people who don't freakin work. Least these people work

Contango

called out wrote:

"Why don't we stop handing out so much money to welfare, wic, food stamps and every other type of gov't hand outs for people who don't freakin work."

Protection money. You want 'em rioting and looting?

Just call up Bernanke and have him print some more Greenbacks and hand 'em out to every American (and illegal) - easy.

Pete

Heck why don't we just let the unions & Democrats run things as they see fit? Then the whole country could be a Libtopia like Detroit:

http://www.detroitnews.com/artic...|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Look how well decades of Democratic leadership and unions controlling city hall have shaped this upstanding and paradise of a city into the shiny gem it is!

The Big Dog's back

It could be Conservatopia like Haiti.

Pete

Detroit & Haiti have a lot in common. Both are Third World backwards entities.
The difference is Detroit used to be a bustling city. Then the Democrats & Union Thugs took over & turned it into a Haiti look-alike on American soil.
With Haiti it has always been Third World.

kURTje

That GOPer Rob Portman - wasn't he 1 of the lawyers for Hati? Or was it the Dominican Republic.

Pete

Could you be thinking of Democratic Senator Bob Menendez and underage Dominican Prostitutes?

EZOB

It isn't just Detroit with years of Democratic Mayors, it's many large cities that have declined included on the list is Cleveland. A while back I read a list of what many of the cities who were failing financially had incommon and they all had many years of Democratic leadership. It has taken years but this hard-headed Democrat has seen the light. Sooner or later Common Sense should prevail.

Pete

"Sooner or later Common Sense should prevail."

The problem is it never will. It is not like the Left is going to wake up one morning, look in the mirror, and go "The problems in my life are not the result of someone else, but my own faulty logic".

If you haven't been reading what is going on in Detroit, then you should. They are completely convinced that they can fix this themselves. It is shocking to read the denial the Democrats that run that city have. Dysfunction barely covers it. Mayor Bing tries, I will give him that. But the members of council are delusional!

And as far as the unions involvement, every time the mayor tries to fix what he can, they sue. Detroit is burning through cash at an alarming rate. They imposed furlough days to try and stem the tide. Instant lawsuit.

Contango

Yea, the IL public pension fiasco won't affect us. LMAO!!!

Word is: They will ask for a Fed bailout. Will Pres. BHO deny his Democrat buddies?

Creating moral hazard will have all the states lining up at the public trough.

Bailouts for everyone!!!!

The Big Dog's back

Capitalism destroyed Detroit. Use it up and throw it away.

Pete

Socialism is the only way FORWARD isn't it Brutus?

The Big Dog's back

Capitalism- Where you can enslave fellow humans, rape the planet, and be praised for your good business sense.

Pete

Wrong again Brutus. It was the greed of the unions that put Detroit in the dumpster. You are just too blind to see it.

doglegright

nobodyfromnowhere,
I doubt 10-15% is contributed to pension by employees, but I do know that the unions have negotiated a 10% rate of return GUARANTEED on their pensions. So think back to 2008 when there was over a 10% loss to investments. Municipalities and states had to contribute (or promise to contribute) 20% to make up the difference to get to a guaranteed 10% gain.

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