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Pension ‘reform’

February 5, 2014

Pennsylvania`s (2) retirement systems SERS and PSERS currently carry more than 45 billion dollars in unfunded liabilities. Governor Corbett is once again calling for reform to the two systems....

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(29)

Nobody

Feb-05-14 1:46 AM

Gary Gray: "fix the systems" is really code for "raise the taxes", and non-state employees do not want higher taxes!

15 Agrees | 3 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

eriklatranyi

Feb-05-14 5:34 AM

Many private sector pensions were underfunded and did not get "fixed", resulting in pensioners taking a haircut.

Further proof that you should not put your faith in big gov't or company. Take charge of your own destiny!

14 Agrees | 4 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Capricorn1

Feb-05-14 6:16 AM

"It is time for responsible legislative leadership that will fix the systems instead of looking for short term solutions that further damage the future of Pennsylvania's State Employees."

Don't ya know, this is the way of government; kick the can down the road until the next election, or, let's make temporary "feel good fixes" to say we did something, or, let's start a program and worry about paying for it later. There's no such thing as responsible budgeting or pay as you go.

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hopeforfuture

Feb-05-14 7:40 AM

In the mean time those of us who have to scrap to make ends meet are required to fund those pensions.

11 Agrees | 3 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

eriklatranyi

Feb-05-14 7:46 AM

Politicians love to spend and legislate, but they have little regard for their own responsibility....because it is not their own money.

9 Agrees | 2 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Steelman

Feb-05-14 8:40 AM

I know the best way to fix it. Cut it all together and make them invest in a 401K like the rest of us have too.

9 Agrees | 3 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

johnnyad3

Feb-05-14 8:51 AM

Not everyone Steelman. I'm in the private sector and in a few years when I retire, I'll be collecting my pension as well as other retirement benefits.

One thing I do know about pensions - if the private sector pension trustees acted like our state government(s) did, those trustees would be in jail.

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CMReeder

Feb-05-14 9:45 AM

The reason the rest of us have to rely on IRA's is because businesses robbed and underfunded employees pensions in the private sector.

6 Agrees | 10 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

JohnZook

Feb-05-14 9:48 AM

Headline- Mayor of Chicago asking for 900 million to pay off debt and kick more down the road. Included are pensions that eat up more and more of our taxes and should be shifted to the private sector. They've turned into nothing more than "slush funds" when money is needed elsewhere.

3 Agrees | 2 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

CMReeder

Feb-05-14 9:48 AM

IRAs were never designed to be 'retirement plans', they are design as a supplement to retirement plans.

6 Agrees | 10 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

andy33

Feb-05-14 10:09 AM

OK Chuck...tell all us morons what was designed for a retirement plan...since it's NOT an IRA

7 Agrees | 6 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Tgrammiex4

Feb-05-14 10:26 AM

Many private sector jobs don't even offer pension plans to thier employees.Often a 401k is all you can do IF you can afford to do so.

11 Agrees | 1 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

CMReeder

Feb-05-14 11:03 AM

"OK Chuck...tell all us morons what was designed for a retirement plan...since it's NOT an IRA" - andy33

Would like to know were I called anyone here on this letter a moron?

The IRA was design as a supplement to retirement plans. It was to support pensions and SSI and savings.

7 Agrees | 7 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

CMReeder

Feb-05-14 11:04 AM

It was design for higher incomes to avoid paying more taxes on income. You can defer paying.

2 Agrees | 9 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

enigma

Feb-05-14 11:25 AM

Chuck, Don't you ever get tired of being wrong? IRA stands for Individual Retirement Account. Notice the word retirement in the name? The government was warning us that Social Security was going away, but most people didn't listen. The IRA and 401K plans were intended to entice people to save for their own retirements rather than relying on pension plans and government programs which they knew couldn't be sustained. Rather than having some guts and telling us that we would be on our own, they tried to nudge us in the right direction. We can see how well that worked. The bottom line is that within a very few years, these programs will collapse and if you've been counting on someone else for your retirement, you won't have anything.

6 Agrees | 3 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

CMReeder

Feb-05-14 12:14 PM

It is a supplement so people do not rely solely on SSI or a pension. It is not design to be a sole retirement account. Now you have businesses not doing a pension plan for their low level employees and leaving up it to them to enter a IRA.

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CMReeder

Feb-05-14 12:15 PM

When the markets crash so do IRAs and 401ks.

7 Agrees | 5 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Steelman

Feb-05-14 12:35 PM

The reason the rest of us have to rely on IRA's is because businesses robbed and under funded employees pensions in the private sector……..CMReeder

They will be under funded further once the Libs raise the minimum wage.

4 Agrees | 6 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

MoMRNRmR

Feb-05-14 12:38 PM

This system has had problems for many years! When speaking to my mother a couple weeks ago, “Our retirements are our problem!”My husband is a retired U.S. Army Soldier with a pension that is now under attack. He now works for Pennsylvania Department of Education with another pension plan that will have many changes before he retires as you can see. As a federal employee and working towards a Federal Pension myself, but also have a TSP account offered to every employee at work. I’m sure that my retirement pension will be changing as well, with all of the current happening. I just found out that they offer free retirement counseling and advisement counseling that let you know when would be the best time for you to retire. My husband and I were advised over twenty years ago to start Roth IRA accounts by a military investment planning counselor that was offered to all military soldiers, free as well. IRA’s depend on the economy, nothing set in stone either!

3 Agrees | 2 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

MoMRNRmR

Feb-05-14 12:38 PM

There is nothing that is set in stone for sure anymore! After the Congress attacked the retired Military’s retirement, what is next..Nothing looks to be safe anymore. Be safe out on the roads everyone.

5 Agrees | 2 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

mikekerstetter

Feb-05-14 2:06 PM

Nobody-"Gary Gray: "fix the systems" is really code for "raise the taxes", and non-state employees do not want higher taxes!"

A large part of the problem is that the State and Local Governments didn't put in their share during a particularly good investment return period. They took a gamble that the markets would continue and lost. The problem is that the pensions are considered 'fruits of the labor' for those employees in those systems. In other words, it was, and is, considered a part of their compensation for the work they performed. Both systems are in place because of laws passed by the PA legislature and signed by the Governors. So it should be no surprise to them that it has to be funded. This has gone to court and the PA Supreme court has ruled that changing employees pensions mid-stream is a violation of the PA Constitution.

Yes, it s u c k s that we have to pay now what should have been paid during that 10 period a while back, but it is owed

3 Agrees | 1 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

mikekerstetter

Feb-05-14 2:13 PM

Steelman-"I know the best way to fix it. Cut it all together and make them invest in a 401K like the rest of us have too."

Constitutionally, you can't do it, for the reasons I mentioned in the previous post. The pensions are considered a contract with the employees and can't be changed mid-stream. They can only change it for new employees.

In 2010 a plan was passed to address the issue. It put new hires then in a plan that had them paying a higher percentage and had in place a repayment plan to fully fund the system. It's those payments, the ones to bring the fund up to where it needs to be, that are causing the ruckus now. Corbett's plan, and most of those they are coming up with, are only kicking the can down the road. They screwed it up by not funding it, put a plan in place to repay it, and now want to kick it road again. Mr Gray is right, they aren't fixing the problem, they are exasperating it.

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Capricorn1

Feb-05-14 2:50 PM

The government was warning us that Social Security was going away, but most people didn't listen. -Enigma

“Social Security is not in crisis. It's a crisis the president's created, period.” -Harry Reid

Harry Reid's response to President Bush's attempt for Social Security reform.

6 Agrees | 1 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

eriklatranyi

Feb-05-14 4:08 PM

Government has never failed?

1 Agrees | 3 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

JohnZook

Feb-05-14 5:06 PM

They are coming for the money in your IRA's and 401k's. Then they will fool you into giving your money to them in a "MyRA". They are now telling you, "you should be happy you only work part-time; more time for family and hobbies". Yes, and people will believe that crap....

3 Agrees | 1 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

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