Saturday, June 09, 2012

Legislators Screwing Pension Systems

State Politicians and the Public Pension Cookie Jar -


Alessandro Machi said...

I tried having an intelligent discussion about pensions run amok and was immediately accused of being a right winger on several liberal blogs, even though I run Daily PUMA.

One perk that I think California workers can get involves working massive amounts of overtime for one year, then having that very high income for that one year be used as the basis for the worker's annual pension!

Example, annual police salary is lets say $40,000 to $60,000, except for one year where that officer works a ton of overtime and makes $95,000. The officer's actual pension will be based on that 95,000 dollar salary, ouch!

Now imagine that ALL the officers are involved in having one year with maximum overtime.

We talk about the Guns for Hostages debacle of the late 70's and 80's, but there was no name attached to rich pensions in exchange for union votes that has gone on for decades.

The tough part is I do have empathy for many state union jobs as they require people risking their lives (police, fire, prison and emergency crews), or simply dealing with the public (DMV nurses and teachers).

I think these professions do deserve a fair pension. However, the fairness needs to be a known percentage of a states annual budget, and that is one talking point that progressives REFUSE to discuss.

Bob said...

I actually agree with you. Yes, some of the rules and allowances are out-of-line and need to be fixed, but trashing all pensions to solve a relatively minor (meaning minor to fix not minor in effect) is rather like the GOP's voter suppression antics; i.e tossing out the baby with the bath water.

What we all should be able to agree on easily is that politicians shouldn't be privileged players in any pension system.