Report: Pension system needs overhaul

Aug 11, 2013 Full story: Lowell Sun 69

The Middlesex and Worcester county pension systems and the city of Fitchburg were each given a D rating and the city of Lowell received a C on a new ratings website by the Pioneer Institute, a research group that says it wants to bring new transparency and accountability to the state's pension systems.

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Civil Servant Supporter

Fitchburg, MA

#41 Oct 11, 2013
Lynch, your family is garbage. Nothing but trash.
Boehner and Cantor

Leominster, MA

#42 Oct 11, 2013
Lynch wrote:
The USA is in turmoil with itself. NASA, Police, Fire, Postal workers, commuter rail, city, state and many many other public funded jobs. Against private industry??
Everyone is pointing the finger at everyone else. Why don't we all just look out for one an other?
America always supported itself with its service industry.
We have Mitt Romney who hired illegal landscapers and painters who hosted a $60,000 a plate dinner where all the partiers sat around snubbing their nose talking about how to take food stamps away from the poor!
I say, let it all go. Stop food stamps, stop social security, stop disability, stop welfare, stop section eight and let it all lay where it may!
What do you think will happen? Cut all pensions off and all city and state workers. That is it, let the strongest survive!
Americans have become so spoiled!!!!!
It hurts a little bit. I have no plans of going into space so who cares about NASA? The only aliens I want to give money to is illegal aliens.
Shawn

Billerica, MA

#43 Oct 11, 2013
I don't know how other pensions work, but I pay eleven percent of my paycheck, each week, into my pension. The town I work for pays two percent (assuming that they don't defer payment for 30 years, like towns have in the past). When I retire, the town will pay zero percent. I would like to think that I get the money I put into the system when I retire.

What a lot of people do not realize, or refuse to acknowledge as fact, is that a lot of this "crushing debt" from paying pensions was due to the fact that many municipal towns have deferred paying their portion for a good number of years. Now, with said employees retiring, they are hvaing to come up with that which they could have been paying for all along.

Moreover, if we want to blame someone, blame people from my parents generation, those who allowed themselves to get suckered into giving up their "sure thing" pension for 401K's. It was all good back in the day when everyone was making money hand over fist in the stock markets, and laughing at those who preferred to keep their pensions, calling them foolish. Now, when their golden nest of cash is gone, and left with no pension and no 401K, you all want to go after those who were smart enough to keep the sure thing?

Blame the towns, blame those who allowed CEO's to phase out pensions way back when. Blame a generation or two that has chosen to freeload off of a welfare system, and teach their children how to do so as well, instead of teaching them a work ethic.
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#44 Oct 12, 2013
Shawn wrote:
I don't know how other pensions work, but I pay eleven percent of my paycheck, each week, into my pension. The town I work for pays two percent (assuming that they don't defer payment for 30 years, like towns have in the past). When I retire, the town will pay zero percent. I would like to think that I get the money I put into the system when I retire.
If you retire in your 50's and get 80% of your highest income there is a good chance you get more back than you paid in. Especially if your town takes care of your health care insurance after you retire.

Social security is for the people that pay you. They have to wait until they're 67 to receive full benefits and if they were lucky enough to pay the maximum in each year they might get 25% of their income.

No one in the private sector gets the deal that municipal employees get. The private sector employees are the people that pay you.
Shawn

Billerica, MA

#45 Oct 12, 2013
Wondering wrote:
<quoted text>
If you retire in your 50's and get 80% of your highest income there is a good chance you get more back than you paid in. Especially if your town takes care of your health care insurance after you retire.
Social security is for the people that pay you. They have to wait until they're 67 to receive full benefits and if they were lucky enough to pay the maximum in each year they might get 25% of their income.
No one in the private sector gets the deal that municipal employees get. The private sector employees are the people that pay you.
Our pensions are the "average" of our salaries over our career, not the highest salary. Not to mention that people who retire from the public sector do no simply fade off into the Florida sunset, as you may think. Most still have to work in order to make ends meet in today's economy. Just like many in the public sector have two jobs to make ends meet. It is not the huge payout you would like to believe.

We, in the public sector, do not get social security, and many, if not most of us have to work until that age to even consider retiring comfortably. And the town only takes care of those health benefits for so long, and even those are being threatened year to year.

Again, I am sorry that those who came before us allowed pensions to become a thing of the past, but it is their fault,not those who currently work in those jobs. People seem to be under some sort of convoluted assumption that municipal employees are living the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. That is simply not the case.
Pauline bowling

Concord, MA

#46 Oct 12, 2013
Shawn wrote:
<quoted text>
Our pensions are the "average" of our salaries over our career, not the highest salary. Not to mention that people who retire from the public sector do no simply fade off into the Florida sunset, as you may think. Most still have to work in order to make ends meet in today's economy. Just like many in the public sector have two jobs to make ends meet. It is not the huge payout you would like to believe.
We, in the public sector, do not get social security, and many, if not most of us have to work until that age to even consider retiring comfortably. And the town only takes care of those health benefits for so long, and even those are being threatened year to year.
Again, I am sorry that those who came before us allowed pensions to become a thing of the past, but it is their fault,not those who currently work in those jobs. People seem to be under some sort of convoluted assumption that municipal employees are living the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. That is simply not the case.
robin and I make over $140 grand. We earn it,wink sink,we sip the communication faculty into shape,wip sip hahahahahahahahahahahahah
Pauline bowling

Concord, MA

#47 Oct 12, 2013
We gave also fed crack to Jtn,hahahahahahhahah
Working Stiff

Gardner, MA

#48 Oct 12, 2013
Wondering wrote:
<quoted text>
Let's do both. With retirement benefits for municipal employees, it isn't the benefit, it's the richness of the benefit. Many of these people retire in their 50's with 80% of their pay. Try that in the private sector.
Hmmmmmmm, no one wanted to be a municipal employee in the 80's? Remember when life was good for the private sector. The Digital Corporation employees were earning 3x a municipal employee's salary. They didn't care about retirement benefits. They cared about driving their big luxury cars and owning their big luxury homes that a municipal employee couldn't afford.

Wow, times have changed huh? Oh well.

Don't worry since the private sector's salaries tanked municipal workers understand they will become a target for all those disgruntled private sector employees.

But..........

Go up to Waltham and the North Shore. The high tech (private sector) companies such as Boston Scientific and Teledyne their employees earn $250K to $400K annually. They retire in their 40's after banking half their pay for 20 years.

Sorry but the private sector is not a good defense, there are many high paying private sector jobs but the difference is THEY DONT BRAG ABOUT IT ANYMORE!

It is all about welfare. Welfare was meant for the laid off workers and to receive a block of government cheese in a cardboard box at Broad Street. It was not meant to become a lifestyle.
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#49 Oct 14, 2013
Working Stiff wrote:
<quoted text>
Hmmmmmmm, no one wanted to be a municipal employee in the 80's? Remember when life was good for the private sector. The Digital Corporation employees were earning 3x a municipal employee's salary. They didn't care about retirement benefits. They cared about driving their big luxury cars and owning their big luxury homes that a municipal employee couldn't afford.
Wow, times have changed huh? Oh well.
Don't worry since the private sector's salaries tanked municipal workers understand they will become a target for all those disgruntled private sector employees.
But..........
Go up to Waltham and the North Shore. The high tech (private sector) companies such as Boston Scientific and Teledyne their employees earn $250K to $400K annually. They retire in their 40's after banking half their pay for 20 years.
Sorry but the private sector is not a good defense, there are many high paying private sector jobs but the difference is THEY DONT BRAG ABOUT IT ANYMORE!
It is all about welfare. Welfare was meant for the laid off workers and to receive a block of government cheese in a cardboard box at Broad Street. It was not meant to become a lifestyle.
I agree with you. Computer scientists and programmers made 3x more than high school janitors and highway department sidewalk sweepers. They still do. The average salaries at Boston Scientific and Teledyne were nowhere near $250K to $400K annually. But even if they were it's because they were producing much more for the company. Be happy that they did because it's the private sector that pays for the public sector. If you didn't take one of those $250K to $400K jobs it's because you didn't qualify.

I agree with you on welfare too. It shouldn't be a lifestyle that's passed on from one generation to the next. There shouldn't be the fraud that exists. How can we fix that?
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#50 Oct 14, 2013
Shawn wrote:
<quoted text>
Our pensions are the "average" of our salaries over our career, not the highest salary.
Generally, retirement benefits are based on four factors:
1 Your age
2 Your years of creditable service
3 The average of your three highest consecutive years' salaries
4 Your group classification (Group class is determined by the State Board of Retirement at time of retirement)

Please see number 3. Since you don't know much about your own retirement plan you can't know much about the other things you wrote.

By the way, I know two couples that are retired. All four of them are retired public school teachers. They pretty much do go off into the Florida sunset but just during our winter months.
Working Stiff

Gardner, MA

#51 Oct 14, 2013
Wondering wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree with you. Computer scientists and programmers made 3x more than high school janitors and highway department sidewalk sweepers. They still do. The average salaries at Boston Scientific and Teledyne were nowhere near $250K to $400K annually. But even if they were it's because they were producing much more for the company. Be happy that they did because it's the private sector that pays for the public sector. If you didn't take one of those $250K to $400K jobs it's because you didn't qualify.
I agree with you on welfare too. It shouldn't be a lifestyle that's passed on from one generation to the next. There shouldn't be the fraud that exists. How can we fix that?
Anytime you purchase anything from a retail store/chain or a restaurant you are paying for that $100 million or more CEO's salary. I don't see a Mayor or Department head earning that much?
Working Stiff

Gardner, MA

#52 Oct 14, 2013
Shawn wrote:
<quoted text>
Our pensions are the "average" of our salaries over our career, not the highest salary. Not to mention that people who retire from the public sector do no simply fade off into the Florida sunset, as you may think. Most still have to work in order to make ends meet in today's economy. Just like many in the public sector have two jobs to make ends meet. It is not the huge payout you would like to believe.
We, in the public sector, do not get social security, and many, if not most of us have to work until that age to even consider retiring comfortably. And the town only takes care of those health benefits for so long, and even those are being threatened year to year.
Again, I am sorry that those who came before us allowed pensions to become a thing of the past, but it is their fault,not those who currently work in those jobs. People seem to be under some sort of convoluted assumption that municipal employees are living the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. That is simply not the case.
It is very simple, they chose the money instead of job security. Now many employers learn to keep them under the number of hours that will make them full-time so they do not have to give them benefits.

Many employers know to cut their positions before they can be eligible for retirement.

Here you have the CEO of McDonalds earning $100 million in salary annually but refuses to give the workers anything above the minimum wage. If I was a private sector worker I would be mad too and vent at the public workers.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/10/11/2...

I don't know why they complain, just quit the private sector and become a public sector worker.
Geez

Concord, MA

#53 Oct 14, 2013
Jtn is a black that
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#54 Oct 15, 2013
Working Stiff wrote:
<quoted text>
Anytime you purchase anything from a retail store/chain or a restaurant you are paying for that $100 million or more CEO's salary. I don't see a Mayor or Department head earning that much?
CEO's make or break a private sector company. They have to produce and generate revenue for the company they lead. If they don't produce they're gone. Public sector jobs, even mayors and department heads, don't produce revenue and profits. They are hired to perform a service and the services are paid for with private sector money. You can't compare a private sector job with a public sector job. Many in the public sector work hard and are underappreciated but the benefits are far too rich. That's changing for the better.

An important difference between public services and restaurants and retail stores is choice. You don't have to shop in a retail store or eat in restaurants but you do have to pay taxes whether you use the services or not. The way you pay taxes ranges from fair to very unfair.

Examples.
If you work you pay a 5.3% income tax. That applies to everyone and it's fair.
If you own a home you pay property taxes. The tax has nothing to do with the services you receive. In Massachusetts the approximate average per pupil cost for public school is $13,000 per year. If two households each own the same type house and have identical tax bills of $6,000 per year but one household has 3 kids and the other has none. The household with 3 kids is getting $39,000 of school services for it's $6,000 and the other is getting nothing. The public school employees win either way. How to make it more fair, everyone in the city or town should pay the exact same tax since they have the exact same services available to them.
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#55 Oct 15, 2013
Working Stiff wrote:
<quoted text>
Anytime you purchase anything from a retail store/chain or a restaurant you are paying for that $100 million or more CEO's salary. I don't see a Mayor or Department head earning that much?
Do you have a list of companies that pay CEO's $100 million or more? I couldn't find one.

Walmart, Michael Duke,$6,300,000.
McDonald's, Donald Thompson,$9,880,000.

I hear people complaining that if CEO pay wasn't so high they could take better care of the employees. Heard that a lot during the GM and Chrysler collapse. McDonald's has 440,000 full time employees, if the CEO gave all of his pay to those employees they would ear another $22.45 per year. Walmart has 2,200,000 full time employees. If the CEO gave his pay to the employees they'd get another $2.86 per year. 52 forty hour weeks is 2,080 hours per year so the employees would get the following hourly raise:
McDonald's $0.01
Walmart $0.001
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#56 Oct 15, 2013
Working Stiff wrote:
I don't know why they complain, just quit the private sector and become a public sector worker.
If everyone did that, who would pay you?
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#57 Oct 15, 2013
Would you like to see some obscene salaries for public employees? Read this:
http://www.celebritynetworth.com/articles/ent...
Lynch

Fitchburg, MA

#58 Oct 15, 2013
Shawn wrote:
I don't know how other pensions work, but I pay eleven percent of my paycheck, each week, into my pension. The town I work for pays two percent (assuming that they don't defer payment for 30 years, like towns have in the past). When I retire, the town will pay zero percent. I would like to think that I get the money I put into the system when I retire.
What a lot of people do not realize, or refuse to acknowledge as fact, is that a lot of this "crushing debt" from paying pensions was due to the fact that many municipal towns have deferred paying their portion for a good number of years. Now, with said employees retiring, they are hvaing to come up with that which they could have been paying for all along.
Moreover, if we want to blame someone, blame people from my parents generation, those who allowed themselves to get suckered into giving up their "sure thing" pension for 401K's. It was all good back in the day when everyone was making money hand over fist in the stock markets, and laughing at those who preferred to keep their pensions, calling them foolish. Now, when their golden nest of cash is gone, and left with no pension and no 401K, you all want to go after those who were smart enough to keep the sure thing?
Blame the towns, blame those who allowed CEO's to phase out pensions way back when. Blame a generation or two that has chosen to freeload off of a welfare system, and teach their children how to do so as well, instead of teaching them a work ethic.
How does 11% pay out for 75%?
Kieyhtht Washington

Leominster, MA

#59 Oct 15, 2013
Wondering wrote:
Would you like to see some obscene salaries for public employees? Read this:
http://www.celebritynetworth.com/articles/ent...
Nobody am denieng that coches make alot of green backs but them job is to teach football and make da school money. How much money do a French poetry teacher make for da school?
Lynch

Fitchburg, MA

#60 Oct 15, 2013
Wondering wrote:
<quoted text>
Do you have a list of companies that pay CEO's $100 million or more? I couldn't find one.
Walmart, Michael Duke,$6,300,000.
McDonald's, Donald Thompson,$9,880,000.
I hear people complaining that if CEO pay wasn't so high they could take better care of the employees. Heard that a lot during the GM and Chrysler collapse. McDonald's has 440,000 full time employees, if the CEO gave all of his pay to those employees they would ear another $22.45 per year. Walmart has 2,200,000 full time employees. If the CEO gave his pay to the employees they'd get another $2.86 per year. 52 forty hour weeks is 2,080 hours per year so the employees would get the following hourly raise:
McDonald's $0.01
Walmart $0.001
There is more than one CEO and there are thousands of non working investors that get paid. 30 years ago there wasn't a tenth of the number of CEOs that there are today.

Take for example if you have $100, you give the CEO $80 and the employee $20. Now in our nation it is the same math as there is only so much money.

The problem is that so few have all the money which can never sustain our consumer market economy!

Food stamps and welfare is 100% government spending as this money is used to support thousands of JOBS!!! When people are not spending enough the government needs to spend in order to keep the economy working. This is economics 101 and should be re-taught to everyone so they can better understand the flow of money.

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