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(Chicago Trib)   2013: Illinois lawmakers pass law eviscerating constitutionally protected pensions for state workers and pensions. 2014: Unions get ready to bend Illinois lawmakers over   (chicagotribune.com) divider line 140
    More: Obvious, Illinois, pass laws, Illinois lawmakers, Municipal Employees, Sangamon County, pensions, unions, workers  
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3622 clicks; posted to Politics » on 28 Jan 2014 at 3:12 PM (29 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-28 05:38:46 PM

GoldSpider: rcantley: Ohs noes, employees wanting to get what they're contractually guaranteed!

Contracts that make guarantees based on assumptions about future economic conditions should be considered legally unenforceable.


Care to think that through genius? See if you can figure out, all on your own, mind, why your statement is nonsense.
 
2014-01-28 05:39:52 PM

BMFPitt: lennavan: Xetal: The reaction is silly, but the bottom line is someone is getting screwed in every single case where deferred compensation has promised more than it can deliver.

If I promise you something that was more than I can deliver, then you making me fulfill that promise is screwing me?  That seems closer to "fair" than "screwed" to me.

The person who made the promise died of old age 10 years ago. His grandkids are paying the bill.


So, if the guy at the bank who signed my mortgage died I can just quit paying with no consequences?
 
2014-01-28 05:40:34 PM

BMFPitt: That will get them by for a year, maybe two.  In the end they are going to have to raise taxes, cut services, and feel the passion that they have brought upon themselves.  Hopefully they don't let it go full Detroit.


Well that was one of the more strange autocorrects I've had.
 
2014-01-28 05:42:12 PM

R.A.Danny: shroom: But Madigan is a dick.

So is his kid.


What in particular bothers you about Lisa Madigan?  I think she's been doing a pretty good job as attorney general.  She's definitely put some distance between herself and her father since getting elected.
 
2014-01-28 05:45:19 PM

BMFPitt: Dalrint: Hmm. So if they can set the precedent that pensions are, in fact, a form of property that a person has 'bought' by paying a portion of their paycheck into it...what does that do to all the companies that threw out their pensions and left their retirees with nothing?

Typically those companies are already bankrupt.


Um, no. Do a little research, both on healthy companies that did this, and others that declared conditional bankruptcy (ie restructured) specifically to dump pension liability rather than adjust exec compensation, reduce dividends, etc. It has been one of the greatest corporate swindle schemes in history.
 
2014-01-28 05:46:23 PM

joness0154: Smackledorfer: Obligations should be met, if at all possible.  Even if that means the state selling land, buildings, cars, and bonds in order to meet the obligations they set.

Yet you'd probably be the first person to advocate personal bankruptcy if an individual can't pay their credit card bills or mortgage, right?


If the state can't pay its debts or negotiate them, then the State should file for bankruptcy. They shouldn't unilaterally tear up contracts.

If you can't pay your credit card debt, you can't just say you aren't going to pay it. You have to go through a drawn out legal process that divides up available assets among creditors then will discharge most debts.
 
2014-01-28 05:51:13 PM

dionysusaur: Dalrint: Hmm. So if they can set the precedent that pensions are, in fact, a form of property that a person has 'bought' by paying a portion of their paycheck into it...what does that do to all the companies that threw out their pensions and left their retirees with nothing?

Chapters 11 and/or 13.  The Shareholders' right to maximized profit is not to be suborned to mere contract law or morality.


You do know that shareholders are the absolute last people to get any money when a company goes through bankruptcy?
 
2014-01-28 05:52:02 PM

shroom: R.A.Danny: shroom: But Madigan is a dick.

So is his kid.

What in particular bothers you about Lisa Madigan?  I think she's been doing a pretty good job as attorney general.  She's definitely put some distance between herself and her father since getting elected.


Cannot. Stand. Her.
 
2014-01-28 05:58:43 PM

shroom: R.A.Danny: shroom: But Madigan is a dick.

So is his kid.

What in particular bothers you about Lisa Madigan?  I think she's been doing a pretty good job as attorney general.  She's definitely put some distance between herself and her father since getting elected.


Wanting to release the names of individuals with FOID cards, for one.  She's a coont.
 
2014-01-28 06:00:12 PM

dywed88: So, if the guy at the bank who signed my mortgage died I can just quit paying with no consequences?


You really fail at analogies.

Mike_1962: Um, no. Do a little research, both on healthy companies that did this, and others that declared conditional bankruptcy (ie restructured) specifically to dump pension liability rather than adjust exec compensation, reduce dividends, etc. It has been one of the greatest corporate swindle schemes in history.


/facepalm
 
2014-01-28 06:00:24 PM

Dalrint: Hmm. So if they can set the precedent that pensions are, in fact, a form of property that a person has 'bought' by paying a portion of their paycheck into it...what does that do to all the companies that threw out their pensions and left their retirees with nothing?


Gives their CEOs something else to laugh at.
 
2014-01-28 06:12:35 PM

Saiga410: Just wait until the unions rebel and start to vote R.


They're more likely to ditch the Democratic party and start their own than they are to join forces with the Republicans.
 
2014-01-28 06:17:57 PM

LectertheChef: Saiga410: Just wait until the unions rebel and start to vote R.

They're more likely to ditch the Democratic party and start their own than they are to join forces with the Republicans.


Or system is set up such that it would be way easier to just take over the state Republican party.  That way they wouldn't have to fight for ballot access.

Something like that is going to happen nationally in the next 6-10 years.
 
2014-01-28 06:31:02 PM
Wait, does the submitter think that the legislators will somehow pay out of their own pockets?
 
2014-01-28 06:33:30 PM

TheShavingofOccam123: Here's a list of union made beers.

Alexander Keith's IAMAW
Anheuser-Busch IAMAW, IBT
Bass IAMAW
Beck's IAMAW
Bud Light IAMAW, UFCW, IBT
Budweiser IAMAW, IBT
Budweiser American Ale IAMAW
Busch IAMAW
Czechvar IAMAW
Dundee Craft Beer IBT
Genesee Brewery IBT
Goose Island IAMAW
Hamm's IAMAW, UAW
Henry Weinhard's Blue Boar Pale Ale IAMAW, UAW
Henry Weinhard's Private Reserve IAMAW, UAW
Hoegaarden IAMAW
Icehouse IAMAW, UAW
Kirin IAMAW
Labatt's Blue UFCW, IBT
LaBatt's Blue Light UFCW
Landshark Lager IAMAW
Leffe Blonde IAMAW
Lionshead IUOE
Mad River Brewing Co. IAMAW
Michelob IAMAW
Miller Beer IAMAW, UAW
Miller Genuine Draft IAMAW, UAW
Miller High Life IAMAW, UAW
Miller High Life Lite IAMAW, UAW
Miller Lite IAMAW, UAW
Miller Lite Ice IAMAW, UAW
Milwaukee's Best IAMAW, UAW
Milwaukee's Best Ice IAMAW, UAW
Milwaukee's Best Light IAMAW, UAW
Natural Ice IAMAW
Natural Light IAMAW
O'Doul's IAMAW
Olde English 800 IAMAW, UAW
Pabst UAW
Red Dog UAW
Rolling Rock IAMAW
Sharp's IAMAW, UAW
Shock Top IAMAW
Sparks Malt IAMAW
Staropramen IAMAW
Stegmaier IUOE
Stella Artois IAMAW

Apparently, Yuengling is a right to work brewery and its owner has sworn to make Pennsylvania a right to work state.

So have a cold union made beer while you ponder the real goal of the GOP....


Well all of those are pretty much shiat, except maybe Goose Island and Leffe.
 
2014-01-28 06:35:27 PM

BMFPitt: Smackledorfer:I mean I know you hate the government and its all socialisms or whatever

Well isn't that just precious.

but kids today benefit from government spending decades ago.

My kids may benefit in the future from me buying them something today, but that doesn't mean I should leave then the bill with decades of interest.

Should the U.S. default on its debts so my kid doesn't have to pay for things done by officials elected by my father? Because that is how stupid what you are saying is.

What is it that you believe I am saying?  It seems to have been diluted by your derp.

Obligations should be met, if at all possible.  Even if that means the state selling land, buildings, cars, and bonds in order to meet the obligations they set.

That will get them by for a year, maybe two.  In the end they are going to have to raise taxes, cut services, and feel the passion that they have brought upon themselves.  Hopefully they don't let it go full Detroit.


The entire concept of government eludes you, doesn't?

Is it the scale you don't understand? The sheer numbers in a society?

You realize people are born and die every minute right?

A government could not, nor should it attempt to, make decisions that solely affect a single age group. That would be retarded, and yet that is your stance on this thread apparently.
 
2014-01-28 06:39:07 PM

joness0154: Illinois democrats have been farking over the state for years.  Their lack of effort to fix this pension mess has been farking with the average citizens here for a long time


The Republicans are every bit as at fault, considering they ran the show for a considerable about of time in this state from the late 70s to early 2000s (they had the governor's chair from 1977 to 2003 and had the Senate for at least 10 years of that span where they also had the governorship).  The thing is that this state has been machine-controlled for so long, and the "Combine" crosses parties here, it isn't just one or the other.

That, and sometime around 2000 or so the Illinois Republican Party became completely incompetent as an organization.  Republicans who are mad at Obama should also direct their ire at Illinois Republicans for driving Peter Fitzgerald out of running for re-election for the Senate over the Lincoln Library.
 
2014-01-28 06:40:38 PM

Brick-House: Isn't it a biatch when you run out of other peoples money.


Isn't it a biatch when you are a self loathing poor who thinks he is a "conservative'?
 
2014-01-28 06:46:47 PM

colon_pow: woo hoo!
bankrupt those suckers.

hello detroit.


Honestly, Detroit could be a valid lesson here.

1) Have something happen that either drives the tax base away (1967 riots), or reduces the value of services received for each tax dollar (actually paying the damn pensions).  It helps if you're insanely corrupt.
2) Raise tax rates.  Some more people leave to go to lower-tax, same service or same-tax, higher-service regions.  Tax income falls.
3) Repeat Step 2
4) Repeat Step 3
...
118) Run out of taxes to raise, and go bankrupt.

You just have to hit a point where cutting taxes kills you short-term, and raising taxes and/or cutting services means that your city/state is no longer the value it was and enough people leave to lower total incomes over the long term.

Mind you, Detroit had the Lodge, so it was really easy to leave and cut your property tax rate in half (and lose the income tax) while actually getting cops and firemen.  YMMV on how well it applies to a whole state.
 
2014-01-28 06:58:44 PM

TheShavingofOccam123: Apparently, Yuengling is a right to work brewery and its owner has sworn to make Pennsylvania a right to work state.


really? Well that's terribly disappointing... I'm going to have to change my drinking habits.
 
2014-01-28 07:20:44 PM

Smackledorfer: The entire concept of government eludes you, doesn't?

Is it the scale you don't understand? The sheer numbers in a society?

You realize people are born and die every minute right?

A government could not, nor should it attempt to, make decisions that solely affect a single age group. That would be retarded, and yet that is your stance on this thread apparently.


It's really hard to tell if you're really as dumb/crazy as you're claiming to be.  If this is trolling, then bravo, sir.
 
2014-01-28 08:30:03 PM

BMFPitt: Smackledorfer: The entire concept of government eludes you, doesn't?

Is it the scale you don't understand? The sheer numbers in a society?

You realize people are born and die every minute right?

A government could not, nor should it attempt to, make decisions that solely affect a single age group. That would be retarded, and yet that is your stance on this thread apparently.

It's really hard to tell if you're really as dumb/crazy as you're claiming to be.  If this is trolling, then bravo, sir.


You were the one making the ignorant claim that anyone who chooses to pay a government employee pension is dead when it comes time to pay, not me. If you intended it as a non-factual statement, I will take my leave.
 
2014-01-28 08:43:43 PM

TheShavingofOccam123: Here's a list of union made beers.

Alexander Keith's IAMAW
Anheuser-Busch IAMAW, IBT
Bass IAMAW
Beck's IAMAW
Bud Light IAMAW, UFCW, IBT
Budweiser IAMAW, IBT
Budweiser American Ale IAMAW
Busch IAMAW
Czechvar IAMAW
Dundee Craft Beer IBT
Genesee Brewery IBT
Goose Island IAMAW
Hamm's IAMAW, UAW
Henry Weinhard's Blue Boar Pale Ale IAMAW, UAW
Henry Weinhard's Private Reserve IAMAW, UAW
Hoegaarden IAMAW
Icehouse IAMAW, UAW
Kirin IAMAW
Labatt's Blue UFCW, IBT
LaBatt's Blue Light UFCW
Landshark Lager IAMAW
Leffe Blonde IAMAW
Lionshead IUOE
Mad River Brewing Co. IAMAW
Michelob IAMAW
Miller Beer IAMAW, UAW
Miller Genuine Draft IAMAW, UAW
Miller High Life IAMAW, UAW
Miller High Life Lite IAMAW, UAW
Miller Lite IAMAW, UAW
Miller Lite Ice IAMAW, UAW
Milwaukee's Best IAMAW, UAW
Milwaukee's Best Ice IAMAW, UAW
Milwaukee's Best Light IAMAW, UAW
Natural Ice IAMAW
Natural Light IAMAW
O'Doul's IAMAW
Olde English 800 IAMAW, UAW
Pabst UAW
Red Dog UAW
Rolling Rock IAMAW
Sharp's IAMAW, UAW
Shock Top IAMAW
Sparks Malt IAMAW
Staropramen IAMAW
Stegmaier IUOE
Stella Artois IAMAW

Apparently, Yuengling is a right to work brewery and its owner has sworn to make Pennsylvania a right to work state.

So have a cold union made beer while you ponder the real goal of the GOP....


Your list of beers lacks beer.
 
2014-01-28 08:46:30 PM

MFAWG: under a mountain: So I guess the Union just expects the State to create the money out of thin air?

Oh wait they'll just raise taxes.

Honest question: shouldn't the state have been putting money aside for these pensions? It's not like the capitol building burned down. This is an obligation that they've had literally decades to prepare for.


They spent the money on useless (aka pork) public works projects to guarantee union jobs.
 
2014-01-28 08:53:34 PM
2014: Illinois back in massive massive debt.
 
2014-01-28 08:56:48 PM

OgreMagi: TheShavingofOccam123: Here's a list of union made beers.
...
Goose Island IAMAW
...

Your list of beers lacks beer.


HOW DARE YOU, SIR.  MADE IN ILLINOIS NO LESS.

www.beer-universe.com

HOW DARE YOU.
 
2014-01-28 08:58:32 PM

OgreMagi: MFAWG: under a mountain: So I guess the Union just expects the State to create the money out of thin air?

Oh wait they'll just raise taxes.

Honest question: shouldn't the state have been putting money aside for these pensions? It's not like the capitol building burned down. This is an obligation that they've had literally decades to prepare for.

They spent the money on useless (aka pork) public works projects to guarantee union jobs.


Derp.

Or citation showing your claim.
 
2014-01-29 03:34:51 AM

Smackledorfer: You realize people are born and die every minute right?

A government could not, nor should it attempt to, make decisions that solely affect a single age group. That would be retarded, and yet that is your stance on this thread apparently.



Bingo.  In many areas government employee unions set up landmines, trading present benefits for larger long term ones, and many congresscritters followed right along.  It's harder for a government to go bankrupt, and the results are extremely bad if they do.

As such, targeting the people who essentially made a bad deal ~40 years ago before I was even born as opposed to putting the burden on *my* back makes some sense.  I'd rather go after the legislaters in that case, but they're a bit like Madoff in that respect- the money is gone.
 
2014-01-29 09:40:23 AM

Firethorn: Smackledorfer: You realize people are born and die every minute right?

A government could not, nor should it attempt to, make decisions that solely affect a single age group. That would be retarded, and yet that is your stance on this thread apparently.


Bingo.  In many areas government employee unions set up landmines, trading present benefits for larger long term ones, and many congresscritters followed right along.  It's harder for a government to go bankrupt, and the results are extremely bad if they do.

As such, targeting the people who essentially made a bad deal ~40 years ago before I was even born as opposed to putting the burden on *my* back makes some sense.  I'd rather go after the legislaters in that case, but they're a bit like Madoff in that respect- the money is gone.


Contracts are renegotiated on a regular basis by unions representing everything from 20 to 60 year olds. They are bargaining in the public eye where voters span 18 to 90.

There is no clean cut gap in generations here. If there was I could see where you are coming from (though even then there are times when borrowing is ok, so we would still occaisionally saddle the next group with a bill). The repetition of this 'before I was born' crap is silly. It is true for a few, but not for most people and situations. Even if you weren't born when some now-retired teacher first started his career (or perhaps we should look at when he/she started thinking about choosing his career based on benefits) you were likely alive and voting with the ability to influence government decisions in an overlapping manner with quite a few of the pension-expecting state employees. It doesn't matter if the original bargaining legislator at start of that one teacher's career is gone. You would have had your input into the system.


I should not feel entitled to have my government skip out on pensions to save money. If I was, why stop there?

If I was 17 when a war started, could I similarly demand a dismissal of war bonds later on?

Hell, maybe a democrat can have his guy choose not to pay debts incurred while the reublicans were elected?

Maybe we should just have one government per person? I mean, I didn't vote for the constitution or elect the official who nominated the justices who decided roe v wade. Why should I have to put up with my neighbor's free speech, baby killing, and gun ownership?

I put up with it because we, the people, make voting decisions in each of our generations to not change, or sometimes to change, those things. And unless you just turned 18 and all your state's teachers simultaneously were hired 40 years ago, you've had your say too.
 
2014-01-29 11:41:00 AM
<quote>Contracts are renegotiated on a regular basis by unions representing everything from 20 to 60 year olds. They are bargaining in the public eye where voters span 18 to 90. </quote>

With administrators that are looking maybe 5 years into the future if we're lucky, they're looking 20+.  The benefits promised to the previous generation got *crazy*.
 
2014-01-29 11:53:32 AM

WhyteRaven74: Xetal: It is why it is a bad idea to have a system like this. While the 401k system isn't perfect, it at least is a system where we won't have that problem 25 or 40 years from now.

You just have a problem where people have no idea what they'll have in 10 years and it can be wiped out over night. The thing with pensions is allowing deferred contributions and not mandating they be contributed to right now. Mandate all contributions are made right now, and funding is quite easy. Also in the case of pensions offered by employers make it so once the money goes in the employer can never touch it and nothing happens in case of the employer going bankrupt.


That is how our pension is set up. Even if our company goes under the fund is managed by a third party that doesn't allow the company access to the funds. So I don't have to worry about crooked execs robbing the thing blind.
 
2014-01-29 12:15:58 PM

Firethorn: With administrators that are looking maybe 5 years into the future if we're lucky, they're looking 20+.  The benefits promised to the previous generation got *crazy*.


I do concur that everyone, from the private sector to the government to our private lives, should be making better decisions and looking to the future.

However, my primary point is that I personally feel people should pay their debts and fulfill their obligations and that our government should as well.  I have no problem with admitting this is a gray area (as per bankruptcy mentioning early in the thread) and not a pure black and white issue, nor do I take issue with people disagreeing with me on where the line should be drawn, etc.

My secondary point is that the debts of citizens who happen to be older than us do not allow us to do a logical end-run on that concept.  Yes, there are some decisions that somebody's great grandfather made that will affect a youngun with no input into how/whether it affects him.  But for the most part, this is not the case with respect to state or federal pension obligations and other debt.  Every single election we have input into adjusting pension levels in a variety of manners - and in some cases we should.  We can draw up different contracts for new employees, we can grandfather in various levels of pension for those relying on them, we have all sorts of options at our disposal.

Workers earned and paid into their pension system.  Make all the adjustments you want on future pensions, but pay workers what you owe them for work performed.

Bonus: in the process if we find that the new adjusted numbers result in the same number and quality of applicant for the job, then we discover that they were overpaid the whole time.  If, otoh, we see poor results, then we know we got our money's worth in the past. Similarly, we may decide we do need good quality employees of a certain type, but less of them.  We lose that discussion when we offer people X and later just shrug and give them Y, and I think we lose faith in the government as a whole as a result.

There are just so many other ways to go about it than to stick it to people who worked their whole lives and are now retired. I know that is especially true here in Michigan.  We nailed retired folks hard both statewide and in detroit, and we likely won't even see any real savings from it: You take a guy with a 15k pension and cut it a few grand, and you wind up with a guy directly relying on more state and federal aid. I guess you give the bank a hook-up when they all jump on the reverse-mortgage ripoff bandwagon.
 
2014-01-29 02:08:57 PM

Smackledorfer: However, my primary point is that I personally feel people should pay their debts and fulfill their obligations and that our government should as well. I have no problem with admitting this is a gray area (as per bankruptcy mentioning early in the thread) and not a pure black and white issue, nor do I take issue with people disagreeing with me on where the line should be drawn, etc.


I'm not saying that we write off their pensions entirely, no way.  But like a bankruptcy hearing, they might have to do with a little less.  Half a percent under inflation rather than full inflation protection.  A bit of charge for medical.

Smackledorfer: Bonus: in the process if we find that the new adjusted numbers result in the same number and quality of applicant for the job, then we discover that they were overpaid the whole time. If, otoh, we see poor results, then we know we got our money's worth in the past. Similarly, we may decide we do need good quality employees of a certain type, but less of them. We lose that discussion when we offer people X and later just shrug and give them Y, and I think we lose faith in the government as a whole as a result.


Very good point.  They tried this with the military by introducing 'redux', the quality of troops dropped drastically, retention of the desired soldiers fell through the floor.  They ended up going back to the old system, or sweetining 'redux' by $30k.

Personally I might go after the double dipping and where they give a guy the highest paying job for like 3 weeks so he gets to retire at that pay grade.  The military instituted a 'average of the 3 highest years' for a reason.
 
2014-01-29 02:35:54 PM

Firethorn: Personally I might go after the double dipping and where they give a guy the highest paying job for like 3 weeks so he gets to retire at that pay grade.  The military instituted a 'average of the 3 highest years' for a reason.


The highest paid job bit is a total scam in a lot of cases.  100% agree with you on that. Even some of the high 3 cases result in a certain position being a position you don't take until you are ready to put in your high three and one you leave when you finish achieving that goal.  There isn't much you could do about that except make the position all the sweeter with something akin to its own mini-pension (if you reach this coveted GS-14 spot, then in addition to it counting towards your high-three you get an additional 1% per year on top of regular pension rules).

The double dipping, however, is fair game imo (except when the 2nd dip job is filled by a form of nepotism or connections).

Consider a skilled position, like an engineer.  He has his X years in for his full pension draw, is at his maximum or near-maximum grade level, and has very little to gain by keeping that job.  His smart move, at that point, is retiring from his job, and finding a new one. He can find another job in either the private or public sector (let us assume).

Now let us assume the government is looking for someone with his qualifications for another position, and so is company B.  What difference does it make if the engineer takes the government job instead of the private one? None whatsoever. The government was going to hire an engineer for the second position.  The engineer was going to retire from the first position as soon as he reached his pension max.  The government still needed to hire someone to replace him there.  And the government gets the skills it was looking for in the 2nd position.

The real breakdown in the process (if there must be one at all) here is the diminishing returns incentive that led the engineer to retire from the initial position in the first place.  The question here then becomes: is it going to save money, or cost money, to provide additional incentives for the employee to remain beyond where their pensions cap in the current system.  Would an additional 1 or half percent a year to his pension be enough to keep the engineer? If it did keep him, would that even save money, as the government still needs to hire/train someone for the second position anyways. And in theory, the double-dipper himself is bringing a very good value of experience and capability to the table when the government picks him up as a rehire.

If, otoh, we do something like a lockout of drawing a pension if still government employed (or employed anywhere would also have to be an option to prevent the early loss of those who can find similar work in the public sector), then are any gains realized, or do people simply retire and stay retired?  I am a pensioned employee*.  I don't expect to double-dip, but I do plan on leaving the minute I stop increasing my pension. If there is a good option for double-dipping on the table I may take it at that point, I honestly don't know.

Now, moves that are too lateral could be solved with blocking the re-hiring of people.  We don't want Bob in room 102 and Jim in 103 each reaching their pension max and job-swapping - that is a clear loss for the government.

Of course I think you may be speaking more on the military end, where iirc the real issue isn't the 60 year olds retiring and working a few years at a different position, but a military guy retiring in his 30s and moving to a civilian job, then getting full double pensions. The same individual logic still applies, but there may be an easier fix here: Don't hire civilians to do the same jobs as the military. I'm not military, so perhaps that is a gross oversimplification.

*this is where you jump on everything I've said as being personally biased :)

Good talk.
 
2014-01-29 05:13:47 PM
In case anyone's wondering, the bill in question doesn't destroy the pension liabilities, or remove the government's obligation to pay them. It raises the retirement age by up to 5 years, depending on the worker's current age, curbs cost-of-living adjustments for current retirees, and requires future retirees to forgo up to 5 cost-of-living adjustments when they retire. It's basically doing just what Smackledorfer  suggested- adjusting pension levels in a variety of manners, and is, in fact, pretty tame.
 
2014-01-29 06:17:03 PM
From what I can tell, the issue is that Illinois has been skimping on the employer contributions to the pension plan for a few decades now, using the money on other things. That means that, for the past few decades, people living in Illinois have been living the life of Riley, low taxes and high quality of life (at least compared to taxes and/or life quality if they had actually bothered to fund the pensions). And now, somebody's got to pay the debt they've accumulated. And really the only option is to fark over the workers, because if they tried to raise taxes enough and cut costs enough to fund the deficit that way, people would simply move, and stop paying taxes to Illinois all together. Certainly, it's not fair, but it's what's going to happen.
 
2014-01-29 06:42:00 PM

ignacio: In case anyone's wondering, the bill in question doesn't destroy the pension liabilities, or remove the government's obligation to pay them. It raises the retirement age by up to 5 years, depending on the worker's current age, curbs cost-of-living adjustments for current retirees, and requires future retirees to forgo up to 5 cost-of-living adjustments when they retire. It's basically doing just what Smackledorfer  suggested- adjusting pension levels in a variety of manners, and is, in fact, pretty tame.


Yea I am good with it outside of cost of living changes. And depending on how grandfathered in other bits are.
 
2014-01-29 10:20:59 PM

Xetal: While the 401k system isn't perfect, it at least is a system where we won't have that problem 25 or 40 years from now.


And all the stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investment (legalized gambling) vehicles those 401(k)s are a part of will be worth JUST AS MUCH IF NOT MORE than their initial value... RIGHT???

There's a reason why the SEC made investment brokers who advertise put a disclaimer either onscreen or in the voiceover - "returns not guaranteed - investments may lose value".

And what about all those people who reached retirement age in 2006-2009 after busting their humps for 30 years while shoveling money into their 401(k) accounts since the 1980's, only to find that now they would have to fight their grandchildren for that Burger King job?
 
2014-01-30 01:31:02 AM

rewind2846: nd what about all those people who reached retirement age in 2006-2009 after busting their humps for 30 years while shoveling money into their 401(k) accounts since the 1980's, only to find that now they would have to fight their grandchildren for that Burger King job?


Then they stuck around until 2011, when they broke even again.

Oh, and if between 2006- September 2008, you retired and DIDN'T cash out (or at least have a "So there ARE recessions, this is a thing that happens, maybe being able to survive on half the normal during the 2-3 years of the crash is a good thing"), you're just a bit of an idiot.

/Or hell, SS and welfare.  You won't go on vacation, but at least in theory, the house is paid off and the kids are gone, so you just live super-cheap for the duration.
 
2014-01-30 03:36:53 AM

Smackledorfer: Even some of the high 3 cases result in a certain position being a position you don't take until you are ready to put in your high three and one you leave when you finish achieving that goal.


Consider that a 'career' in the military can be 20 to 30 years - due to physical requirements many are retiring medically at 20 years anyways.  You have to make E-6 to retire(used to be E-5).  There are 9 grades, though the last 2 are typically only achieved by those going over 20.  So you're looking at 2-3 years per grade anyways.  Having somebody stay in for 3 years to get 'full' E-7 to E-9 pay means that they've 'gotten their money's worth' anyways.

*this is where you jump on everything I've said as being personally biased :)

Not really, I'm working on the military pension myself.  The military solution is that you get another 2.5% pension per year after 20, up until they kick you out at 30.  Most who stay until 30 aren't doing it for the money anyways.
 
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