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Old 06-30-2014, 10:03 AM
 
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Should tax paying citizens who do not have a pension plan going for them be required to fund the pensions of others?

Few private sector employees have a pension plan in this day and age. However, most public sector employees (municipal, state and Federal) have pension plans that are funded in whole or in part from taxes imposed on all people in their respective tax base.

In my mind, it doesn't make any sense whatsoever to require people who don't have a pension to fund the pensions of people in the public sector. If it were up to me, I would provide for a tax credit for people without a pension plan or, better yet, pass a law that required all public sector employees to fund their own pensions.

What makes sense to you?
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:21 AM
 
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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.
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:53 PM
 
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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.
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Old 06-30-2014, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Dublin, CA
3,811 posts, read 3,730,563 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wudge View Post
Should tax paying citizens who do not have a pension plan going for them be required to fund the pensions of others?

Few private sector employees have a pension plan in this day and age. However, most public sector employees (municipal, state and Federal) have pension plans that are funded in whole or in part from taxes imposed on all people in their respective tax base.

In my mind, it doesn't make any sense whatsoever to require people who don't have a pension to fund the pensions of people in the public sector. If it were up to me, I would provide for a tax credit for people without a pension plan or, better yet, pass a law that required all public sector employees to fund their own pensions.

What makes sense to you?
Simple answer: If you want a pension, get a public employee job. There isn't a single private sector job, which doesn't have a public sector counterpart.
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Old 06-30-2014, 02:42 PM
 
684 posts, read 719,495 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.


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?
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:05 PM
 
684 posts, read 719,495 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.

I don't know what state employs you as an auditor, but the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that state and municipal workers on average make far more in total compensation than private sectors employees make.

"The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced on March 12th that the total cost of employing a state or local government worker is 45% more than an equivalent worker in the private sector."

Government Workers Cost 45% More Than Private Sector Workers




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Old 06-30-2014, 03:06 PM
 
12,743 posts, read 18,971,620 times
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You are going about it wrong. Truly some public employees enjoy outrageous pensions created via a warped and almost criminally irresponsible conflict of interest between politicians and public unions from years past. But that is not applicable for all public employees, thus your proposal will punish those public employees from states and cities that have responsible retirement programs (i.e. funded from their salary).

The way to address abused public pensions is politically. Politicians from both parties are busting these pensions abuses mainly because they have to - they are not sustainable. Just as in the private market, it doesn't matter what promises were made. Most public employees WILL see reduced pensions if they haven't already. Indeed, it's such an issue for most municipality budget planning that if a politician does not address it, you should chose to vote for someone else.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Volunteer State
1,243 posts, read 961,800 times
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I'd say - and I'm just guessing here - that if you threw out the data for the federal level jobs, you'd see that state and local salaries are much lower than their private counterparts, which then justifies the better benefits package. OTOH, we are all aware of the bloated bureaucracies at the federal level and I'm pretty sure they are skewing the data the OP presented.

I wonder if that data includes the Congress, Cabinet, etc. If so, there's where we'd all agree that funding their pensions isn't fair.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Minnysoda
8,965 posts, read 8,784,784 times
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Retirement is merely a portion of what your taxes may of may not be used for. You may not like it but then don't use the roads, don't drink the water. don't turn on the lights, don't use the toilet or send you kids to school, I'm not sure where you live but if I almost guarantee you that if you had to pay a public company to do what the State and Municipal workers are doing it would cost you more.....
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
35,209 posts, read 34,471,905 times
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I don't have kids. I don't want to pay for everyone else's kids education, transportation or feeding kids in school with my tax dollars. Why does the federal government incentivize people having kids they can't afford by giving those people child tax credits and more freebie money based on how many kids they have?

I don't commit crimes. I don't want to pay for prisoner "entertainment" or rehabilitation.

I don't want to pay for the care, feeding and education of illegal aliens because immigration laws aren't enforced, lawyers or ice cream for terrorists in captivity when they could have been killed on the battlefield rather than housed, fed, entertained then released after a few years, subsidies for public transportation not where I live, public broadcasting that could go commercial and that I don't listen to, birth control for anyone since I'm beyond childbearing years, free Obama phones when I have to pay for my own, a bridge in Alaska I'll never use, etc.

Others may not want to pay taxes for wars they don't support.

Point being, we all pay taxes to support programs and other expenses we don't like or have a stake in and hope enough elected politicians agree with us and do something about it. They usually don't. Your public pension gripe is no different than any other gripe (like mine) about how our tax dollars are spent.

By the way, I get one after 34 years on the job and I think it's swell. If you want to "turn it off" for new hires, fine, but for most of us, it was the only incentive for taking a public sector job that paid much less than private industry, at the time we were hired.
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