Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Public Employee Pension

This is from 2005. I can only imagine how much worse the pension situation has become. It's getting small attention now, but could truly get a newspaper, magazine or news channel attention. Pension Pulse is a good resource for this. Sadly, they do not have the megaphone that major news outlets have at their disposal.

There are many reasons why this is important. Public Employee defined benefit pensions have been a driver of muni and state taxes. Taxpayers have shouldered that burden with little attention. Reform is difficult as SEIU workers, corrections officers and the brave police and firefighters are a solid voting bloc that shows up and can make a difference. There's also another darker element to this. The police receive good pay (sometimes great pay depending on the area) and benefits (rich pensions & free healthcare). Without these benefits, the folks who enforce the law could be corrupted with money. NYC went through this. Taking care of the folks who have the power to arrest is important. I just don't believe in final year salary based pension benefits that give a guy 50% (often much more) for eternity starting at age 55 or 60. Social Security does not pay that well and does not kick in for us schmucks until 65+.

Looking back at my homestate, I hope the Maine police do not get extremely rich pension benefits. Pulling over Massholes for speeding and breaking up drunken teenage parties does not earn you 75% of pay forever.

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