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Old 08-03-2017, 01:45 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
1,424 posts, read 2,431,791 times
Reputation: 1776

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I took my job with city/county government for the pension and related benefits. I paid into my pension initially 5% (each and every paycheck) which later increased to 8%. Many years we would pay both the employee & city contribution in order to get a pay increase (obtained through union negotiations) since our final pension was based upon highest earnings during the last 3 years It made sense to get a raise to boost higher earnings even if we had to pay more to contribute at that time to our pension.

Upon retirement, we get two cost of living increases each and every year on top of our pension. A basic COLA usually around 3.5% which is permanently added to your earnings each year which creates a new higher earnings “base” pay each year and a supplemental COLA which is extra for that year only and not added to base pay (and varies in amount each year). I didn't know about the COLA's when I first retired and appreciate it very much and my pension has increased considerably during retirement due to the COLA's .

We also contributed to social security.

Health plan/dental/vision is available for retired employees. We paid into it when employed and continue to do so when retired at a slightly higher rate (very reasonable for employee only. Considerably higher when adding dependents).
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,744,100 times
Reputation: 32304
8% of gross salary from me for 34 years plus an employer match funded my pension. I am on easy street in the sense that I can live comfortably on my pension, but not in the sense that it is a cushy or luxurious lifestyle.


"Easy street" is subject to interpretation. I am still driving the same car I bought new for $26,000 ten years ago, in 2007, for example. When I travel, I do NOT fly first class, and if it's a road trip, I stay in Motel 6 or Day's Inn or similar. But I do not have to count pennies and the "end of the month" means nothing to me, as there is no such thing (in my case) of running out of money at the end of the month.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,244 posts, read 44,929,003 times
Reputation: 12841
Quote:
Originally Posted by volosong View Post
$465 a month for only being employed six years is pretty good. That's generous.



I'm having a difficult time getting a handle on your phrase, "free". I did have an employer contribution to my 403(b) based on longevity and current compensation rate. Full vesting was after five years of continuous full-time, benefit-based employment, but I think it is a much shorter period now. There was no matching, but we could contribute pre-tax dollars from our paycheck. A few other retiree benefits, the biggest one being a medical insurance subsidy, again the amount based on longevity with the firm; and subject to change in future years as medical costs continue to skyrocket.

.

True. Nothing is really "free". If you don't contribute overtly to a pension, you are getting paid less than a similar job with no pension would pay. "Free lunch with beer" means the price of the lunch is built into the price of the beer.

I was lucky enough to hire on to an outfit with a modest pension based on time served and average salary for your "high 5" years (typically but not necessarily your 5 last working years). People with a little less seniority than I have got a reduced version of the pension. The pension was not optional, if you work there you get it, and, yeah, salary is a bit less than one might expect for a similar job with an employer with no pension program. I say lucky in that I was tempted to leave a few times for various reasons, but, not thinking about the pension particularly, I stayed put. We also have 401k, I consider that the "queen of benefits" - you can provide for yourself pretty well if you max your 401k, over a 20 to 30 year career.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,244 posts, read 44,929,003 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatwomanofV View Post
I was medically retired from the Air Force with a pension. Nope, didn't pay anything into it. Medical bennies through the V.A. As for Social Security, I didn't work long enough to really get anything when I turn 65. You have to work at least 10 years and I worked short of 8. I can receive it off of my husband's SS.



Cat
Wandering off topic a bit, I *think* you could work another 2 years at any SS paying job, and then could draw SS. I *think*. Assuming you can find a job that you want to do, and are able to work. Even part time work might qualify you. Just sayin'.
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:17 PM
 
659 posts, read 325,222 times
Reputation: 1974
Quote:
Originally Posted by volosong View Post
$465 a month for only being employed six years is pretty good. That's generous.

The $465 is going to be my grocery money, after taxes. If only I could have stayed on with this company longer. They moved from metro Philly to Princeton, NJ--one of the most expensive areas in NJ. I felt like I could not afford to do the full relocation. The company offered such a generous severance package (mine was worth over 50K), you would have been a fool not to take it back then.

I am amazed at the retirement benefits many of you receive. You are right, nothing is really free, considering the time you have to put in at the job, union dues, and the working conditions to be endured.

Last edited by BabyJuly; 08-03-2017 at 03:18 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 08-03-2017, 04:44 PM
 
649 posts, read 554,493 times
Reputation: 1877
Military pension that required no contribution other than go where you're told, when you're told and do what you're told.

State pension has a 9 percent employee contribution and employers also contribute 9 percent. The employer portion is increasing by 1 percent a year for the next 6 years.

I also contribute to a 457 plan for which there is no employer match.
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,208 posts, read 3,200,569 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyJuly View Post
The $465 is going to be my grocery money, after taxes. If only I could have stayed on with this company longer. They moved from metro Philly to Princeton, NJ--one of the most expensive areas in NJ. I felt like I could not afford to do the full relocation. The company offered such a generous severance package (mine was worth over 50K), you would have been a fool not to take it back then.

I am amazed at the retirement benefits many of you receive. You are right, nothing is really free, considering the time you have to put in at the job, union dues, and the working conditions to be endured.
How much longer would you have tried to stay?
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:45 PM
 
8,204 posts, read 11,918,472 times
Reputation: 18019
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyJuly View Post
I worked for a company for only 6 years, and left it in 1999. I left a vested pension that I did not understand. I since learned when I am 65, I will get a Single Life Annuity Pension of $465 a month for my years worked. I did not have to pay into this pension fund.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQ2015 View Post
Also they don't call federal government retirement benefits the "golden handcuffs" for nothing. To collect a full pension at age 56 requires 30 years of service or age 60 with 20 years service. You are also eligible to retire at age 56 with at least 10 years of service but there is a large penalty on your pension unless you wait to age 62 to collect (but inflation can take its toll). Basically the OP would not have been able to collect any pension at my workplace given her 6 years of service.
That's incorrect.

Federal employees become vested in the FERS retirement system after only 5 years of service. If they then leave government employment, they would be eligible for a deferred annuity beginning at age 62.
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:55 PM
Status: "Re-edit status" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: Was Midvalley Oregon; Now Eastside Seattle area
4,181 posts, read 1,903,923 times
Reputation: 3211
IIRC, non Union, company paid N% of average salary on N years.
Union pension was soo much better.
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
1,661 posts, read 1,527,059 times
Reputation: 3650
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
That's incorrect.

Federal employees become vested in the FERS retirement system after only 5 years of service. If they then leave government employment, they would be eligible for a deferred annuity beginning at age 62.
My bad.
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