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Old 07-21-2014, 01:41 PM
 
2,514 posts, read 1,966,895 times
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My mother worked for the state for a few years and didn't pay SS for those few years. She had put money into SS for 25+ years. She did pay into a pension program.

After being laid off and finding out she had several debilitating arthritic discs in her back, she couldn't collect SS disability simply because she hadn't paid into SS for a few years.

So being a state employee without paying into SS has some disadvantages as well.
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:38 PM
 
5,640 posts, read 16,998,194 times
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"I provide services to the other citizens of my state for far less money than I would earn doing this in the private sector" see in our state, the public service employees are all unionized and earn much more than the comparable private sector employee. And they get to retire at 55, with 3% annual COL raises and paid healthcare. It is a pretty sweet deal.
Until recently pension spiking was allowed as well. So many of these retirees are gaming the system and are getting benefits based on a salary much larger than what they were making all those years.
Unfortunately, the govt here has tied the govt employees pensions into the state constitution, so you can't make the employees pay any more into the fund without changes to the constitution (not gonna happen). Although I blame the politicians for stealing the money from the coffers to fund other projects, instead of completely funding the pensions as they should have... the math never really added up. The state employees should have been more vigilant to make sure this happened, and they were not. The state will end up going bankrupt from this situation.
Yes, I think it OK for us to pay (like others have stated, we pay for schools even when we do not have children) but NOT the sweet deals that these people get in this state!! I am certain that all states are not like ours is.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:37 AM
 
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This is quite simple. Government employees should be paid equal to that of private employees and should be given the option to participate in a 401k.

No more pensions for public employees.

EDIT: I bet most public employees would not want to this to happen, because they know they have a sweet deal.
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Upstate NY
31,199 posts, read 9,309,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PedroMartinez View Post
This is quite simple. Government employees should be paid equal to that of private employees and should be given the option to participate in a 401k.

No more pensions for public employees.

EDIT: I bet most public employees would not want to this to happen, because they know they have a sweet deal.

Don't be too sure. If you're proposing that private/public be exactly the same, in today's economic environment, I bet there are plenty of public sector employees who've seen their pensions diminished or outright ended who might have wanted to be able to avail themselves of the PBGC, which guarantees a substantial portion of private sector pensions.
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:35 PM
 
2,485 posts, read 1,780,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MG120 View Post
Most public employees, but not all, fund at least 50 percent of their pension. So the taxpayers are not footing the entire bill. And as Sacite stated, public employees generally make less in salary than their private sector counterparts so the benefits are what entices many to work in government.
Making less is no excuse for wanting more money. Janitors make even less. Should everyone provide them with a pension?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delahanty View Post
I agree. I'm sick of hearing people gripe about public pensions, especially private sector employees who unfortunately lost theirs. If they wanted a public pension, they could have had a public service job.
They are paying for your pension. Your pension is not a god given right.

Last edited by Oldhag1; 07-23-2014 at 12:35 AM..
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:55 AM
 
3,727 posts, read 3,065,181 times
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The fact of us paying into the coffers of government allows for the savvy corp types to harvest the riches of such a collective. Thinking that the public sector employee benefits constitute a problem of unfairness is laughable in light of the recent rape of our collective treasury by those who already had bled u$ out in 08. Unfortunately this kind of pretzel logic has become the norm among the lesser knowledgeable in America.

If one really thinks he/she can influence government to the extent that would make for a fair distribution of our tax dollars, or better yet possess the power to reduce those tax dollars, that person could only be considered naive by todays political standards. It's one thing to fret about that which is really unfair and totally another to be jumping on a bandwagon of futile causes being driven by radio shouters and other paid shills of the power elite who takes the Lion's share of our tax dollars while asking us to take away from those who work for a living.
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Long Island, NY
1,638 posts, read 1,934,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wudge View Post
As best I know, what you claim certainly is not true for Federal employees.

"Federal civil servants earned average pay and benefits of $123,049 in 2009 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The data are the latest available.

The federal compensation advantage has grown from $30,415 in 2000 to $61,998 last year."

Federal workers earning double their private counterparts - USATODAY.com

Does this make sense to you?
Yeah, I just loved that USAToday article.

I'm a retired federal employee. When I started in 1989, my salary was $17k. My friends who were in private sector made more than twice that and had some good snickers when I took that job. I took it not to get rich, but to have a secure job with decent benefits and a pension.

Over the years, based on longevity and good performance, my salary elevated to a good wage. Mind you, my counterparts in local govt still made more and had better benefits (since I was in law enforcement, I had no private sector counterpart). I have paid some towards my pension (which is relatively small), paid heavily into the govt's version of a 401k (which heavily supplements my pension), and also into Social Security. Between the three, I have a good retirement income.

Additionally, I pay 30% of my health care premium and all of my dental and vision insurance. My local counterparts pay little to nothing.

You want to take away benefits and pensions to new governmental workers - fine, but you reap what you sow. Not everyone in public work is a file clerk or paper stamper. You have those who are put out there to protect the public in various ways (cops, doctors, scientists, researchers, etc.). If you want bottom of the barrel employees, that's what you will get.

BTW, once the private sector is again booming, USAToday will disregard the pay and benefit disparities.
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:01 AM
 
28,906 posts, read 45,473,231 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sacite View Post
I am a public sector employee of 10 yrs. I do not necessarily think it is fair, but I provide services to the other citizens of my state for far less money than I would earn doing this in the private sector. When I graduated college, the State offered me $32,000 to start while big firms were hiring my fellow classmates for $55,000 for what was basically the same position (auditor). The State has to compete with either salary or benefits - and the citizens are the ones that pay either way - because they are the customer. No one had a problem with this structure when the economy was humming and they were making more money than us. They only take issue now that we've hit a recession and security has trumped pay as everyone's top priority.

On average, I bring in well over $1 mil into my state each yr. My salesmen friend jokes that if I did that in the private sector, I'd be making 2 or 3 times what I make now.

Either way I agree that the public's funding of state employee pensions is a problem that each state needs to address. If they do not, unfunded pension liabilities will cause major budget issues down the road. Most states (or city governments) have already taken steps to fix this, by decreasing payout rates and extending the retirement age. Others have simply denied benefits altogether.
As a public sector employee, you are not providing services for less. If there was ever an inefficient entity on the face of the planet, it is a government bureaucracy. It is a gigantic money- and time-suck designed to keep civil servants employed.

I say that as someone who has done business with the Federal government a good bit over the years. I am amazed at the staggering waste, the overspending, and the Byzantine politics of getting anything at all done. I maintain that you could walk through any random government office, fire 50% of the employees and not miss a beat. All you'd do is force the remaining workers to do their jobs in a more timely and efficient manner.

What's more, while you state that you get paid less than your equivalent in the private sector, that is the exception. Instead, the average public sector gets paid more and gets more in benefits:

Total Compensation: U.S. Government Employees vs the Private Sector - Political Calculations - Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary - Page full

I remember a conversation I had once with a state university employee. He was my age at the time, 45, and was looking forward to retiring in five years. Because he was on the state pension, he would be earning a pension at age 50. If he lives the average age in the actuarial tables, he will be drawing a pension longer than he actually worked. Even then, the pension he earns will be far greater than what he put in, even with inflation and the accrual of return on investments.

What's more, that doesn't even begin to factor in more generous vacations, better policies on leave of absence, Federal and State holidays, and a human resources policy that makes it almost impossible, short of the commission of a felony, to fire a government worker at all. So the average government works less than his private sector counterpart, gets paid more on average, gets more benefits, gets a pension, and has zero bottom-line accountability. Who in God's name could possibly resent that?
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:24 PM
 
3,727 posts, read 3,065,181 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
As a public sector employee, you are not providing services for less. If there was ever an inefficient entity on the face of the planet, it is a government bureaucracy. It is a gigantic money- and time-suck designed to keep civil servants employed.

I say that as someone who has done business with the Federal government a good bit over the years. I am amazed at the staggering waste, the overspending, and the Byzantine politics of getting anything at all done. I maintain that you could walk through any random government office, fire 50% of the employees and not miss a beat. All you'd do is force the remaining workers to do their jobs in a more timely and efficient manner.

What's more, while you state that you get paid less than your equivalent in the private sector, that is the exception. Instead, the average public sector gets paid more and gets more in benefits:

Total Compensation: U.S. Government Employees vs the Private Sector - Political Calculations - Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary - Page full

I remember a conversation I had once with a state university employee. He was my age at the time, 45, and was looking forward to retiring in five years. Because he was on the state pension, he would be earning a pension at age 50. If he lives the average age in the actuarial tables, he will be drawing a pension longer than he actually worked. Even then, the pension he earns will be far greater than what he put in, even with inflation and the accrual of return on investments.

What's more, that doesn't even begin to factor in more generous vacations, better policies on leave of absence, Federal and State holidays, and a human resources policy that makes it almost impossible, short of the commission of a felony, to fire a government worker at all. So the average government works less than his private sector counterpart, gets paid more on average, gets more benefits, gets a pension, and has zero bottom-line accountability. Who in God's name could possibly resent that?
Yeah, private enterprise has shown us all what they're capable of when they decide to rob the treasury in the "most efficient" manner. Apparently their robbing skills actually surpass their business skills as is demonstrated every time we call our insurance companies or banking institutions and are put on hold for an eternity, and all the while charging us exorbitant rates ( a tax by any other name) for their "services" Is this the efficiency measure you would reference when making a comparison of government vs private business? Especially in light of the fact of monopolism being the order of the day in our largest corporations.

I remember a conversation I once had with one of my bosses, the owner of the business where I worked, he was telling me about his plans for the future and his dream to bail out early so as to "enjoy life to the fullest". Of course he never thought o ask about my dream, or any other of his employees dreams either, he just knew that HIS dream was going to be financed on the back of his employees for whom he had refused any retirement plan plus he offered no vacation pay, and no medical or dental plan. He did bail out and his employees were left with a closed shop and a unemployment check for their loyalty.

I left that job of course, and I went to a large aerospace company where I got a nice pension, good pay, and plenty of benefits. Now retired I still hear the anti union whiners saying the same thing about organized workers as they do about state or federal employees, so, what is it that drives this campaign against retirement programs from those on the right of things? Is it that these people are in favor of a business construct that limits the stakeholders to the bosses greed, are they thinking that they would realize a huge reduction in their taxes if government were to cancel ALL pensions immediately?


No, I think it all stems from the notion that "they" are now the boss (taxpayer) of all government functions and in this capacity they mean to cut the "fat" (benefits) out of what they pay for. It's just that simple, they think that their puny contribution as individuals should allow them a right to administer things as they see fit. Forget that tons of us are just fine with things as they are, I pay taxes and I'm not complaining about government with the exception of their cozy relationship with Wall street and blowing my money on bailouts for them, and even when I'm thinking about that I still manage to put it down and enjoy my life. My advice to all those who spend their days whining about government inefficiency would be to ask what their expectations of private business would be in that regard.

Last edited by jertheber; 07-25-2014 at 01:00 PM..
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:52 AM
 
2,485 posts, read 1,780,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MG120 View Post
Most public employees, but not all, fund at least 50 percent of their pension. So the taxpayers are not footing the entire bill. And as Sacite stated, public employees generally make less in salary than their private sector counterparts so the benefits are what entices many to work in government.
Is that still true that public sector people make less than private sector people? Do public sector people raise a family on a walmart or Starbucks salary? It's just a cheap excuse. Public sector employees don't want their prosperity to go down. Understandable. People want more. But it's unreasonable when everyone else is suffering in this economy, while public employees refuse to sacrifice as if they are superior human beings. This is a privileged attitude. It's often said that they care about the middle class. But that's not true. The bull of the middle class is suffering. The ones not willing to pay their fair share, to sacrifice, are public sector employees.

Starve others to preserve oneself using the police power of the government.
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