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Old 07-08-2019, 03:30 PM
 
6,846 posts, read 3,718,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prickly Pear View Post
To be fair I think the situation flips in rural area and really small cities with bad economies. Itís definitely not in big cities based on job postings I see online. But thatís because in rural areas the COL doesnít have high competition for housing and such. It takes a miracle to get wages above cola in government, and with how much rent is increasing these days... it makes you wonder.

Government pay is fairly standardized across jurisdictions. If you work for the state for example, a state job in rural Tennessee wonít pay much less than a job in Nashville, they may even pay the same. It doesnít line up with inflation and the real cost of cities.
At least in the Federal gov, similar jobs are often graded higher in a city on top of a location dependent high pay rate. That's not to say gov jobs are paid above market in the city because they are still 30% below, but to add that being in a rural area can often be worse because both the pay rate and grade are lower -- double hit. It's really impacted our ability to hire because new grads are not willing to come to rural Tennessee when they can make more and have a more exciting lifestyle in places like Huntsville which isn't even a big city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
I spent my life in the public sector (neither federal nor state, but a public transportation agency. However, I am in a state pension system.)

Now post retirement, I have had a couple of nice part-time jobs related to my career. The money is good and when my boss decides he wants to give me a raise, he gives me one. Public salaries are subject to the whims and agendas of politicians. If pols want to score points with the public during times of economic difficulty, they make a big deal out of "showing those greedy public employees" by stripping away benefits, freezing wages, etc., because they know the public will lap it up mindlessly because of their preconceived notions that public employees sit there all day and do nothing and make bank. We went for five years, 2010 to 2015, without raises. Staff who retired or left were not replaced so we all got more work and longer hours and during that time was when it became the norm to have to be available by phone and email nights and weekends, and for no other reason that we could ever determine except pure meanness, long-term employees got their vacation time slashed. I lost five days.

I also have gotten nice bonuses at the end of every year in the private sector. There are no bonuses in the public sector. There are other perks in the private sector, such as attending business dinners that are not permitted in public life, going to conferences and staying at a nice hotel near the event venue instead of the one in the ghetto that falls within the spending guidelines of the agency and from which you have to walk or spend your own money for a cab.

People I knew in the private sector had fancy holiday parties at big venues (Bloomburg traditionally took over the Museum of Natural History for their holiday bash) and didn't have to shell out a dime, while public sector employees pay for their own parties that are usually held in the back room of a city bar, lol. That's not a reason to decide where to work, of course.

On the plus side and for which I am eternally grateful, I have some of the best health benefits in the nation. They were free until 2010 when the powers that be decided we should pay. To their credit, they didn't hit us with it all at once but rather made us increase what we had to pay gradually over four years. Thankfully, I was grandfathered into the tier that receives the benefits free upon retirement. People behind me won't get that. They either pay for the cadillac benefits or accept a much lesser plan that they don't have to pay for but which has higher deductibles and co-pays.

So, if you have some area of expertise where you know you can make the big bucks in the private sector and manage your own retirement funding, you might be better off. If you aren't looking to get rich but would rather have the steadiness and reasonably-certain security of an adequate pension, the public sector could be for you.
Agree with everything you said. And while it make seem like a small thing, the "second class citizen" status when traveling for work just kind of brings down the morale. I've been required to stay in hotels where I found needles in the bathroom and were afraid to go outside to eat even though there was not restaurant in the hotel. Or that when we have visitors doing business in our office that we have to pay out of our own pockets to provide normal business courtesies like coffee and bagels to our guests.
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:58 PM
 
74 posts, read 14,975 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikko12 View Post
I think that it really mattes on what government you are working for. I work for the federal government, and get raises every 6 months at about 2-4%, plus around 2% cost of living increase per year. I started just under 3 years ago and I am will be making about $16k per year more than when I started. We also get pension, which I do have to put in 4.4% of my salary for, on top of a 401k where they match dollar for dollar up to 5%

However, I know people that work in state and county governments in Indiana, and it's quite a different story. Their pension is laughable, and they get paid a lot less. If you go over to Illinois you will make a lot more for the government.

So I would say Federal Government is be s t, and then depending on what state you are in second. If you work for Indiana you are better off in the private sector

This is an excellent point, and not just with regard to pay increases. It is equally important to look at the government entity's pension funding. As of six months ago, there was not a single state government that was at 100% funding of their pensions; the closest was Wisconsin, with 99% funding. Illinois, on the other hand, had 36% of their pension obligations funded. Kentucky and New Jersey had 31% funding. As of December 2018, across the board in all state pension funds, there was a $1.4 trillion shortfall. And many county and municipal pension funds are also underwater.

So a pension is indeed a wonderful thing, but it's smart to do a bit of due diligence and make sure that the promises made are likely to be fulfilled. If you are in your 20s and working for a government entity with a history of raiding their pension fund for other purposes, you may not get the payout you hope for when you retire.
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:36 PM
 
2,420 posts, read 691,725 times
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After working in the private sector for 15 years and not getting any raises (due to contracting) and also long periods of unemployment, I took a pay cut and got a government job. I'll trade the stability at a lower rate over unemployment + higher rate which translates into more money for me and my family despite the lower pay rate (and the lower cost of living area I moved to).
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:09 PM
 
1,426 posts, read 816,521 times
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Government job. All the way!
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:26 PM
 
908 posts, read 480,774 times
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Get out. Run. I have seen so many younger people staying in these jobs and then they are stuck. The pay is terrible and if they stay too long - they are no longer marketable. They aren't doing anything transferable to the private sector and nobody wants them. Pensions are nice but nicer is a matching 401K plan from a private employer. Most people that stick with government jobs are just sticking around for the nearly free, family health benefits and have a partner that is making good money in the private sector. Or they are cops in certain areas that pay 6 figures in overtime. If you have 7 years, you probably vest in 10. I'd stick it out until I vested but then plan on leaving. Maybe take some courses or do some moonlighting that will help you move into the private sector. Stay there during the highest earning years and then when you are almost ready to retire - you could go back to the government for the final few years and maybe then buy back your pension time while enjoying the benefit of years of higher salary and 401k savings.
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:39 PM
 
2,420 posts, read 691,725 times
Reputation: 3402
Quote:
Originally Posted by chattyneighbor View Post
Get out. Run. I have seen so many younger people staying in these jobs and then they are stuck.
The private sector is worse. Young people graduate from college and then are working Mcjobs.

THAT is an improvement? Really?

Quote:
The pay is terrible and if they stay too long - they are no longer marketable.
Depends on the position!

There are military contract auditors who get jobs in the private sector with consulting firms that deal with how to deal with the auditors in that agency. There are IRS auditors who get hired by tax attorneys for their inside knowledge. There are those who are hired from regulatory agencies for their inside information.


Quote:
They aren't doing anything transferable to the private sector and nobody wants them.
Neither are Mcjobs. How is what your advice going to make their lives better?

Quote:
Pensions are nice but nicer is a matching 401K plan from a private employer.
This assumes job stability. Not happening out there.

Full time jobs are being sliced and replaced by contracts and "gigs"
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:51 PM
Status: "The days are getting shorter" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
3,967 posts, read 1,114,406 times
Reputation: 5613
I took a job with the public sector in Oregon in 1980. At the time I didn't care too much about pensions or benefits. I was working at a fish hatchery and doing what I loved to do, raising rainbow trout. After a few years I realized the pension and benefits were significant.
After a 31 year career doing what I loved to do, I realized the pension was awesome. I retired with a nice 50k/yr pension, relatively cheap health insurance through the state, a deferred Compensation program that i haven't touched yet and a lifetime of friendships that I maintain almost 10 years later. And SS that I started collecting at 62. I have no regrets at all. I can fish every day if I want to. Government jobs kick A$$!
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:38 PM
 
11,264 posts, read 8,429,934 times
Reputation: 20438
Did the OP specify which gov't entity? Because that matters. Some states pay well, others hardly pay anything. I'm sure city and counties vary; too.
I've job hopped all over with federal and have had a blast.
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Old 07-09-2019, 05:29 AM
 
Location: FW, Indiander
823 posts, read 1,297,451 times
Reputation: 703
The latter. If I have to be forced to contribute my pension then it's not worth it, especially when you can be furloughed. Might as well get a union job for $15K higher.
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,579 posts, read 17,567,761 times
Reputation: 27661
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willamette City View Post
I took a job with the public sector in Oregon in 1980. At the time I didn't care too much about pensions or benefits. I was working at a fish hatchery and doing what I loved to do, raising rainbow trout. After a few years I realized the pension and benefits were significant.
After a 31 year career doing what I loved to do, I realized the pension was awesome. I retired with a nice 50k/yr pension, relatively cheap health insurance through the state, a deferred Compensation program that i haven't touched yet and a lifetime of friendships that I maintain almost 10 years later. And SS that I started collecting at 62. I have no regrets at all. I can fish every day if I want to. Government jobs kick A$$!
That's the benefit.

At 4%-5% safe withdrawal rate, you'd need a million dollars to produce the same kind of cash flow. You'd have never reached level of savings with that kind of job in the private sector.

I'm 33. I'd like to be in a government job by 35 and get thirty years of service or close to it in.
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