Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Newspaper contacts | All Access E-Edition | Home RSS
 
 
 

The war on pensions

March 18, 2013

Governor Corbett has made clear he is declaring war on the pensions of public employees. However, let's remember how this crisis was created....

« Back to Article

 
 
sort: oldest | newest

Comments

(50)

idiottwo

Mar-18-13 5:52 AM

We the People, the President and pensioners declared war on pensions when they all descided to raid the funds and to spend money it needed for services and expenses they had no income to cover. I know, some will say this is crazy talk, but what do you think will be happening to cover the future debts of local and Fed Gov? Sure you can tax more, but is it enough? No, it will never be enough.

9 Agrees | 0 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

MrShaman

Mar-18-13 6:07 AM

"In 2000, the stock market was solid and the teacher pension fund was at about 125% of what was needed to keep the promise of current and future retirees' pension payments. So, the state and school districts decided to take a gamble and stopped paying into the fund. Teachers never stopped or reduced their amount paid. The handwriting was on the wall. The stock market crashed and now there is crisis." - Alison Fortunato

*

It truly is amazing how-much-more "sophisticated" our economic-strategy had become...back when the "adults" (as they called themselves) took-over, after the Clinton Years.

3 Agrees | 7 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Don521

Mar-18-13 6:39 AM

During the time when the stock market collapsed the people appointed to manage the pension fund still received millions in bonuses. Being a state employee I wrote to the pension board to ask them how they could possibly grant huge bonuses at Christmas time when the fund was losing billions. They told me the fund had lost much less than private investments had and that it was law that bonuses be given out, even the attorney general of Pennsylvania could not stop the bonus pay out they said. I tried to get some political interest in the situation then but no one was interested 15 years ago and the bonuses just kept on coming. The worst thing is that the people who manage the state pensions are politically appointed and at the time I questioned them, not one of the board had a doctorate or masters degree in business management. They were just buddies with someone in government. It might still be that way I do not know, but it sure was/is frustrating.

8 Agrees | 0 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Don521

Mar-18-13 6:51 AM

Oh, I forgot to mention that Sue Paterno received a 13.4 million dollar payout from the PSERS from Joe Paterno's retirement account. I guess it is some kind of record. A retiring police officer, teacher, prison guard, nurse, or any other state employee just makes a lot less on the path to retirement. Their services are not nearly as valuable as a football coach's service.

7 Agrees | 0 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

eric88

Mar-18-13 7:33 AM

Aww... A cute letter from a union hack/government employee. And yet again a so called "progressive" still holds on to the archaic, unsustainable pension system. Why? Because it directly benefits them. Moocher mentality.....

9 Agrees | 3 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

mikekerstetter

Mar-18-13 7:38 AM

Francine-"Is it safe to assume that you're a public employee Ms. Fortunato?"

What does that matter if she speaks the truth?

Since when did truth depend on where one works or what party one belongs to?

That's a sad reality in today's society, if you can't dispute the facts and truth, attack the person telling it.

That's why we can't get anywhere in Washington.

2 Agrees | 4 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

mikekerstetter

Mar-18-13 7:52 AM

eric88-"Aww... A cute letter from a union hack/government employee. And yet again a so called "progressive" still holds on to the archaic, unsustainable pension system. Why? Because it directly benefits them. Moocher mentality"

Those public pensions have absolutely nothing to do with the Unions nor are they negotiated with the employees. The employers (school districts in this case, other Government bodies in other cases) didn't put in their share of the pension over a 10+ year period.

The new proposed system (the coveted 401k) will be in the same shape in a few years if the Government pulls the same stunt and fails to put in their share of the money.

As I said to Francine, why don't you start with the truth and put the blame on where it belongs, on the Government who created the mess and quit with the Union and Public Employee bashing. I guess it's true that if you can't get past the truth all you have left to do is discredit the person who speaks it.

1 Agrees | 7 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

idiottwo

Mar-18-13 8:07 AM

the debt, crazy spending and greed got us here. I'm tired of the crying and blame. I'm more tired of the "give me" attitude. Its not just an entitlement thought process, its victim mentality. I'll be happy when people stand on their own two feet. assure they have their own nest-egg, not just one given by others. If people don't like it now, imagine what is coming as our debt truly needs to be corrected? Hold your tears, its going to be a lot worse and we all allowed it to happen - all sides.

10 Agrees | 0 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

eric88

Mar-18-13 8:18 AM

Mikekerstetter ---Those public pensions have absolutely nothing to do with the Unions nor are they negotiated with the employees.

Then what purpose do the Fireman, police, postal employee, teacher unions have if you say this is true.. Your dead wrong on this topic, Unions are 100% to blame on the budget mess.

7 Agrees | 2 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

eric88

Mar-18-13 8:28 AM

"The new proposed system (the coveted 401k) will be in the same shape in a few years if the Government...."

Its always dependency on the government for you libs.

Here is a wild idea! Try looking at personal retirement funding such as an IRA or any of the other options available. Its called "personal responsibility" a zany idea I know... the way you libs handle tax money any so called "guaranteed" retirement-- pensions or SSI are in serious trouble.

6 Agrees | 1 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

mikekerstetter

Mar-18-13 8:35 AM

eric88, The letter at hand deal with PA's public pensions, SERS (State Employee Retirement System) and PSERS (Public School Employee Retirement System).

Both of these retirement systems were set up through PA Legislation (you know, a bill was brought before the PA Legislature and was approved through a vote by the PA House, PA Senate and signed by the then Governor or PA). This legislation set the rules for and made participation in the respective retirement mandatory for those employees covered by them.

The terms of how the plans work or who is covered by them are not bargained for by the employees nor their unions.

Sorry, you are completely wrong on this issue.

2 Agrees | 7 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

johnnyad3

Mar-18-13 8:42 AM

"assure they have their own nest-egg, not just one given by others."

You are an idiot. These pensions were not "given" to them. The employees contributed to their pensions with each paycheck. Whoever on the state side that decided not to put money into the fund should be in jail.

3 Agrees | 2 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

mikekerstetter

Mar-18-13 8:44 AM

eric88-"Its always dependency on the government for you libs. Here is a wild idea! Try looking at personal retirement funding such as an IRA or any of the other options available. Its called "personal responsibility" a zany idea I know... the way you libs handle tax money any so called "guaranteed" retirement-- pensions or SSI are in serious trouble."

You do realize that those public employees have money mandatorily taken from their checks and put into the retirement systems, right? And like private 401k's the Government (the EMPLOYER) puts money into the system (or at least they were supposed to according to the Pension LAW that they enacted).

They can also change it to a private system. You'll have to raise the wages to compete with comparable private industry jobs though. Historically Public Sector jobs have paid less than their Private sector counterparts and pensions were used to draw employees to public service. Cont'd....

1 Agrees | 5 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

mikekerstetter

Mar-18-13 8:47 AM

But even with pension and benefits included Public employees are compensated less than their Private Industry counterparts. So you'll have to raise wages to get and retain those employees.

Try doing some research on the subject. Perhaps then you won't look so foolish to those of us who know what the truth is.

2 Agrees | 5 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

LaughIn

Mar-18-13 8:50 AM

What exactly do you do Mike Kerstetter? Are you a teacher in the Montgomery School District? The LTE is accurate, but grandfathered pensions must be made good at the cost of the taxpayers and current teachers wages. It is poor planning and take a closer look at who is at fault, they may still be working.

6 Agrees | 1 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

LaughIn

Mar-18-13 8:50 AM

What exactly do you do Mike Kerstetter? Are you a teacher in the Montgomery School District? The LTE is accurate, but grandfathered pensions must be made good at the cost of the taxpayers and current teachers wages. It is poor planning and take a closer look at who is at fault, they may still be working.

3 Agrees | 0 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

eric88

Mar-18-13 8:52 AM

"You'll have to raise the wages to compete with comparable private industry jobs though..."

And match the retirement age too! Public sector employees eligible for minimum retirement at 65/67 I think that would be fair

3 Agrees | 0 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

johnnyad3

Mar-18-13 8:52 AM

"Sorry, you are completely wrong on this issue."

Eric is completely wrong on a number of issues. His envy speaks volumes in this case. At the same time he hates people who think different than he does.

A couple of weeks ago, I was reading an op-ed that talked about how the Tea Party has this virulent anger aimed at Americans they didn't agree with.

1 Agrees | 7 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

eric88

Mar-18-13 8:54 AM

"Try doing some research on the subject. Perhaps then you won't look so foolish to those of us who know what the truth is."

You mean actual "reality" or your cherry picked talking points from the PSEA?

6 Agrees | 1 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

mikekerstetter

Mar-18-13 9:00 AM

LaughIn-"What exactly do you do Mike Kerstetter? Are you a teacher in the Montgomery School District?"

What does it matter what I do for a living? I am speaking the truth. Since when did truth depend on where one works or what party one belongs to?

LaughIn-"The LTE is accurate, but grandfathered pensions must be made good at the cost of the taxpayers and current teachers wages. It is poor planning and take a closer look at who is at fault, they may still be working."

I can agree with that and I've said so. But the Employees and their Unions are not to blame for the mess. All I am saying is put the blame where it belongs and quit bashing Public Employees over something they had no control over.

3 Agrees | 4 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

idiottwo

Mar-18-13 9:06 AM

yes, Johnyad3, I'm an idiott, but in good company. Those who make their own way will be far better off. Promises or not, having your own nest egg is the only way to have improved security. Life is not fair and we are bankrupt. So, complain as folks will, it won't create more wealth or jobs. It won't cover the money squandered by others. If there is a debt, and no money to cover it, what do you propose? Where will it comes from? What are you willing to cut? Tough times are coming. See Europe now as its just the tip of the iceberg.

8 Agrees | 0 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

mikekerstetter

Mar-18-13 9:09 AM

eric88-"You mean actual "reality" or your cherry picked talking points from the PSEA?"

Actual truth, Eric. It does me no good to come here and tell something that isn't true. I don't belong to PSEA and I don't go to their web site to get information. I've done some research on the Pension systems and I am telling the truth regarding them.

For the compensation issue, google " Out of Balance? Comparing Public and Private Sector Compensation over 20 years. "

2 Agrees | 3 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

eric88

Mar-18-13 9:11 AM

"His envy speaks volumes in this case. At the same time he hates people who think different than he does."

Attacking ideology is a separate and entirely different issue from "hating". A beautiful example of "phony outrage" you have given here! Bravo brave liberal!

6 Agrees | 2 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

mikekerstetter

Mar-18-13 9:23 AM

idiottwo, consider this. The public employees had a minimum of 6.25% of their wages garnished and put into these retirement systems. That is a lot of money they could have saved for their own personal 'nest egg' that you want them to have. Then compound any investment income they could have made on that money. That's a lot of money over a career.

There is no lack of planning on their part. They had that money taken mandatorily and told for that garnishment they would receive a pension based on a formula at the preset retirement age and years of service. That was their plan, and they had no choice in it except to change jobs.

Like many others here, you act like Public Employees are getting a free ride. They are not. They have skin in the game, a lot of money that was taken from their checks that could have otherwise been invested. You need to realize that and acknowledge it.

5 Agrees | 4 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

eriklatranyi

Mar-18-13 9:38 AM

This entire fiasco is further evidence of why you do not allow politicians to play with any more money than is absolutely necessary.

Nobody is accountable in gov't and nobody will be fired for this.

Instead, everyone will have to suffer because a handful of greedy men and women were incompetent.

These are the same greedy men and women that liberals tell us can be trusted with our medical records, financial records and firearm records.

9 Agrees | 4 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Showing 25 of 50 comments Show More Comments
 
 

Post a Comment

You must first login before you can comment.

*Your email address:
*Password:
Remember my email address.
or
 
 

 

I am looking for:
in:
News, Blogs & Events Web