League of cities: Cut current worker pensions?

HEALDSBURG — A new League of California Cities pension reform plan proposes a “detailed legal review” of whether pensions promised current workers can be reduced, a cost-cutting move widely believed to be prohibited by court rulings.

A look at the legality of reducing pensions that current workers earn in the future, while protecting pension amounts already earned through years of service, is similar to a recommendation from the watchdog Little Hoover Commission in February.

“Pension sustainability cannot be fully achieved without addressing the benefits of both current and future employees,” said the League of California Cities plan issued late last month and distributed at a pension workshop here last week.

As pension costs soar, particularly in local government where most spending is on personnel, savings from clearly legal changes (mainly higher pension contributions from workers and lower pensions for new hires) are said to fall short.

“What I’m hearing is that there is no good solution,” Healdsburg Mayor Tom Chambers said last week at a pension workshop after being briefed on current cost-cutting options by officials from the league of cities and CalPERS.

“Rates are going to continue to go up to a point where for every person working for the city you are paying for another one that’s not,” said the mayor of the city with 11,000 residents on the Russian River in the Sonoma County wine country.

“What suffers then is the level of services, and that’s what’s really disconcerting,“ said the mayor. “I don’t know how you go forward with that.”

Bigger savings for government employers could come from reducing pensions that current workers earn in the future. It’s a cost-cutting option for the dwindling number of private-sector employers that offer pensions.

But for state and local government employers, many but not all believe that a series of court rulings mean pensions promised workers are, from the date of hire, “vested rights” under contract law that can only be cut if offset by a benefit of equal value.

The go-slow league of cities plan begins with five things that can be done by bargaining with unions, moves on to 15 things needed from the state and concludes with a third step that looks at cutting current worker pensions and a possible ballot measure.

The league of cities, spending $3 million on each campaign, got voter approval of two ballot measures aimed at protecting local funds from state raids: Proposition 1A in 2004 received 84 percent of the vote, Proposition 22 last November received 61 percent.

The pension reform plan said the league should work with unions and the Legislature and the governor to restructure the California Public Employees Retirement System to protect the “fiscal integrity” of cities and retirees.

“This could include jointly sponsoring an initiative if legislative change is insufficient,” said the plan.

Among the proposals: Restructure the CalPERS board to include more independent public members, preferably with financial expertise, to represent taxpayers. The board is currently dominated by labor representatives.

A statement in the plan that “the benefits of both current and future employees” must be addressed is followed with this proposal:

“After a detailed legal review and to the extent permitted by federal and state law, a well-designed state constitutional amendment is needed for prospective retirement formula reductions and incremental retirement age increases for current employees to guarantee their already accrued earned benefits, while making the plan sustainable, affordable and market competitive on a going-forward basis. The amendment should also include a risk-managed PERS defined contribution plan for public agencies.”

One of the 27 recommendations in the plan would authorize CalPERS to offer the option of a “hybrid” combining a “defined contribution” or 401(k)-style individual investment plan with a lower pension.

An official of the league told the workshop last week there has been no state action on pension reform, despite Gov. Brown’s 12-point pension reform proposal and an attempt by Senate Republicans to get pension reform in a budget deal on tax votes.

“Many think if it’s going to happen it will have to be a statewide ballot initiative,” the regional public affairs manager for the League of California Cities, Nancy Bennett, told the workshop.

“Lot of talk again,” she said, “nothing for this upcoming ballot, and partly because it costs about $3 million to run a successful campaign, and that’s a lot of money right now in the state’s economy.”

Bennett said polls this year by the Public Policy Institute of California and the Los Angeles Times show strong support for public pension reform.

“Who is going to spearhead this initiative campaign most likely is the big question,” she said.

A pension reform group led by Dan Pellissier is working on an initiative, not yet filed, that would cut the benefits of current state and local government workers by limiting employer contributions to their pensions and switch new hires to 401(k) plans.

A proposal by San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, based on other court rulings, would use the declaration of a fiscal emergency and a local ballot measure to reduce pensions earned in the future by current workers in the two city-run plans.

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and others are proposing a local initiative that would switch new city hires to a 401(k)-style plan and attempt to cut current worker benefits by putting a five-year cap on pay counted toward pensions.

CalPERS chart showing Healdsburg rate history

CalPERS actuary Barbara Ware briefs Healdsburg City Council

The league of cities plan said near the end that “if the above reforms prove unfeasible or ineffective, consider a standard public employee pension system where one benefit level is offered to every employee” as an option to make CalPERS sustainable.

Critics say CalPERS-sponsored legislation, SB 400 in 1999, boosted Highway Patrol pensions by 50 percent, setting a new standard for local police and firefighter bargaining that resulted in “unsustainable” pensions.

At the workshop, CalPERS actuary Barbara Ware said Healdsburg pension costs jumped sharply after 2002 because of a change in CalPERS “assumptions” (apparently due in part to a stock market dip) and higher pensions for police and firefighters.

CalPERS previously had dropped Healdsburg’s rates to near zero, a contribution “holiday” during a stock market boom given to many of the system’s 2,000 local plans. Ware said future contribution holidays are unlikely under new policy.

Healdsburg boosted pensions for “miscellaneous” or non-safety employees in 1998 and again in 2007. Ware said the rates (35 percent of safety pay and 22 percent of miscellaneous pay) will continue to rise as major investment losses in 2008 are phased in.

Healdsburg pays the employee’s pension contribution, 7 to 9 percent of pay, and counts that as salary used to set pension amounts. Ware said the city has the option of ending that — even switching to have employees pay part of the employer contribution.

Generally, said Ware, “From CalPERS’ point of view, if we get the money we don’t care where you get it from.”

Reporter Ed Mendel covered the Capitol in Sacramento for nearly three decades, most recently for the San Diego Union-Tribune. More stories are at https://calpensions.com/ Posted 15 Aug 11

90 Responses to “League of cities: Cut current worker pensions?”

  1. Tough Love Says:

    If the legal review concludes that pension formula reductions (and/or retirement age increases) for FUTURE service for CURERENT employees is not doable, there ARE other options:

    (1) freeze salary (no merits, no COLAs, no nothing) for as long as it takes (10, 15, 20 years) to get Public Sector “total compensation” (pay + Pensions + Benefits) to a level no greater than Private Sector total compensation in comparable positions. While pensions will still grow due to service increases and aging towards retirement, the salary freeze will significantly slow down the rate of growth. If, employees complain, explain that their “total compensation” is too high via the pension component, and if THAT element cannot be reduced than another (salary) will be.

    (2) outsource 90+% of all Civil Servants. This ends the “employment relationship” and with it ALL growth in pensions and benefits. The financial benefits of this are larger than in (1) above.

  2. FLAK88 Says:

    For those new to this site, Tough Love is still sore about not passing his Civil Service test many years back ..

  3. Tough Love Says:

    Sorry FLAK88, As I have never applied for or taken any test to become a gov’t employee at any level, from municipal to Federal, you are “mistaken”.

    But more to the point, you attack and disparage me because of your insecurity, immaturity, and inability to effectively respond to many of the comments I make (often with factual/numeric demonstrations) as to how Public Sector pensions are multiples greater in value than those of Private Sector taxpayers whose pension contributions (and the investment earnings thereon) pay for 80-90% of Public Sector pensions.

    I understand your goal of protecting your turf, but those of us (the Private Sector taxpayers) must do our best to change that.

  4. skippingdog Says:

    TL – While the proposals you make might be workable in a dictatorship, I don’t believe you’ll find much appetite for them in most state or local government organizations.

    If you freeze everything related to compensation for an extended period of time, you begin to undermine the very nature of a civil service system, which is to at least reduce, if not always prevent, corruption, nepotism, and overt cronyism. You need not look too far to see what a minimally paying government employment system leads to, and it’s something we’ve previously seen in the U.S.

    I suppose all good lessons must be relearned from time to time, but your idea of substituting short-term and entirely profit motivated contractors for career civil servants trades what you perceive as one evil for a far greater one.

  5. Tough Love Says:

    Skippy, I certainly would not expect much “appetite” for my proposals in gov’t organizations, because the workers in those organizations are the beneficiaries of the current financially “out-of-control” system.

    At some point via initiative, etc. or simply running short on money, change WILL come …. via Taxpayer imposition. The timing and form is the only thing that is yet unclear.

    As to your 2-nd paragraph, you misunderstand. The GOAL of the salary freeze is not to keep it in place long-term, but to force the needed pension reductions for current workers.

    As to your 3-rd paragraph, yes there will be some negatives, but overall, it will be greatly positive. As a simple example, I’ll bet the total compensation of those who mow lawns for the state is 3x what you would pay to buy the same service. Yes, when you get to such things as bridge design, this gets more complicated.

  6. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    A new League of California Cities pension reform plan proposes a “detailed legal review” of whether pensions promised current workers can be reduced, a cost-cutting move widely believed to be prohibited by court rulings.

    ==================
    it is not prohibited at all.

    How many times must I school the trough feeding public employee piglets that the pensions for years NOT WORKED can be reduced with the next contract. Nothign to stop that from happening right now, today.

    The employee does not obtain, prior to retirement, any absolute right to fixed or specific benefits, but only to a “substantial or reasonable pension.” (Wallace v. City of Fresno (1954) 42 Cal.2d 180, 183 [265 P.2d 884].) Moreover, the employee’s eligibility for benefits can, of course, be defeated “upon the occurrence of a condition subsequent.” (Kern, supra, at p. 853.) 864*864 (3) However, there is a strict limitation on the conditions which may modify the pension system in effect during employment. We have described the applicable principles as follows: ( “An employee’s vested contractual pension rights may be modified prior to retirement for the purpose of keeping a pension system flexible to permit adjustments in accord with changing conditions and at the same time maintain the integrity of the system. ( [Citations.] Such modifications must be reasonable, and it is for the courts to determine upon the facts of each case what constitutes a permissible change. To be sustained as reasonable, alterations of employees’ pension rights must bear some material relation to the theory of a pension system and its successful operation, and changes in a pension plan which result in disadvantage to employees should be accompanied by comparable new advantages.
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=17080363232227008395&hl=en&as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr

    Schools IN!

  7. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    For those new to this site, Tough Love is still sore about not passing his Civil Service test many years back ..

    ====================
    LOL…my pet turtle could pass the Civil Service test😉

  8. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    BTW-the above listed statement is from the following case;

    BETTS v. BOARD OF ADMINISTRATION OF THE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM

  9. Fed Up Says:

    Cut current employee pensions? How about cutting the retiree pensions. Many current employees pay the increased rate(s), i.e. 9% for 3@50 in retirment contributions. Many of the public agencies let employees with 30 years in the system walk out the door with this enhanced benefit without ever paying a dime for it. Coupled with office workers retiring in their mid 50’s (designed for safety), this is recipe for disaster. Pay retirees the lower benefit that they payed for over 30 years, and were hired with instead of putting it on the back of current employees and the tax payer!

  10. Tough Love Says:

    Fed Up, The following supports your position. Note that the cost (expressed as a level annual % of cash pay) of funding a 3%@50 pension to a 30-year worker retiring at age 55 is 58% of pay year-in, year-out. This is ridiculous !

    So let’s cut to the chase …….

    Private sector employers typically contribute 3%-8% of an employee’s cash pay towards retirement, yet the total cost (expressed as a level annual % of cash pay throughout one’s career) of Public Sector Defined Benefit pensions (for a 30-year employee retiring at age 55) ranges from 29% to 58% depending on the richness of the benefit formula (with safety workers generally at the highest end).

    More specifically, for the noted formulas, the level annual %s of cash pay are as follows:
    2% per year of service w/o COLA – 29%
    2% per year of service with COLA – 39%
    3% per year of service w/o COLA – 44%
    3% per year of service with COLA – 58%

    Even after deducting the typical employee contribution of about 5% of pay, that still leaves the employer (meaning TAXPAYERS) contributing 24% to 53% of pay. The middle of these %s is 38.5% vs 5.5% (the middle of the range of what Private Sector employers contribute) or SEVEN (yes SEVEN) times greater.

    This is completely absurd, and the very modest “tweaking” at the edges by practically begging employees for a few more percent of pay contributions will NOT even begin solve the HUGE financial problem.

    TOTAL COMPENSATION (Cash Pay plus Pensions plus Benefits) should be comparable in the Public and Private Sectors for similar jobs, and with Cash Pay in the Public Sector now AT LEAST equal to (if not greater) than that in the Private Sector, there is ZERO justification for greater Public Sector Pensions and Benefits .

    Not for PAST service, but for FUTURE service, Public Sector pension accruals must immediately be brought FULLY down to the level of their Private Sector counterparts. Due to the huge reduction needed, the ONLY way to do this is to freeze the current defined benefit plans for CURRENT (yes CURRENT) workers, and switch everyone into a 401K-style Defined Contribution Plan with an employer contribution in the same 3%-8% range granted Private Sector workers.

    Additionally, since Private Sector retirees rarely get any retiree healthcare subsidy before eligibility for Medicare at age 65, similar restrictions should apply to Public Sector retirees.

    It’s TAXPAYERS’ money and Civil Servants are NOT more worthy of bigger pensions and better benefits.

  11. john moore Says:

    Once again,Mr. Mendel vastly over states the state of the law. The “must give something of legal benefit” language is pure dicta and not a case holding. The recent cases say that to support a “vested right” claim,the employees must show the “enactment” of that right at a duly noticed hearing that provides “due process” protection to the right of the voters to check the enactment via its’ right to subject enactments to a Referendum. A “practice of paying pensions at a certain rate” is not enough to establish a “vested right”See,Retired Employees Ass’n V. County of Orange(CD Cal 2009) 632 F. Supp. 983,987)

  12. skippingdog Says:

    john moore -“The “must give something of legal benefit” language is pure dicta and not a case holding.”

    I think you’ll find that specific language in the recent DCA opinion concerning Orange County’s attempt to roll back its pension obligations, which is now the most recent published case on these matters.

    Rex keeps claiming that a 1954 case provides all of the controlling precedent necessary to curtail existing pension structures for active employees, but that’s probably because he hasn’t bothered to Shepardize the cases that followed.

    It makes perfect sense for the League of Cities to conduct a thorough legal analysis of these matters, compare their ultimate findings with those already completed by counsel for CalPERS and the San Diego City Attorney’s Office – which also attempted to litigate a reduction in existing pension obligations – and then see what the state of the law truly may be.

    Assuming there’s some legal room for the League of Cities to maneuver, there must still be some city step up and pay the costs necessary – in both money and political fighting – to test a novel theory. That still looks like a long-shot bet, the same as the one Orange County and John Moorlach made a couple of years ago.

  13. skippingdog Says:

    Sorry, Rex. “Should be” is prescriptive, not advisory.

  14. skippingdog Says:

    You guys always leave out the most important paragraph of the Betts decision, which is clearly not dicta and provides clear support for the “should be” language you so love to contest:

    “We therefore conclude that the 1974 amendment to section 9359.1 cannot constitutionally be applied to petitioner, because the amendment withdraws benefits to which he earned a vested contractual right while employed. No “comparable new advantages” to petitioner appear in the plan which can offset the detriment he has suffered by replacement of a 868*868 “fluctuating” system of benefit computation with a “fixed” system. Petitioner is therefore entitled to have his basic retirement allowance computed on the basis of section 9359.1 as it read when he left office in 1967. Under the formula therein provided, petitioner’s basic pension benefit is to be determined periodically on the basis of the current Treasurer’s salary, now $35,000 per year.”

  15. skippingdog Says:

    Sorry, Fed Up – One thing that is clear throughout every court case regarding pensions in California is the protection to benefits for those who have in fact retired.

    While it may be theoretically possible to reduce the pension benefits for future work by current employees – not likely, but theoretically possible – the same does not hold true once an individual retires and becomes an annuitant.

    Don’t be bitter. Someday that language will benefit you as well.

  16. john moore Says:

    I agree that you can’t reduce retiree pensions,short of a disaster,including a financial disaster,but Chap 9 is a different story. See Ceder Falls Ri. Chap 9 stories.

  17. Tough Love Says:

    Skippy, I wish you no harm, financial or otherwise, but I believe the likelihood of a reduction in your pension (possibly being limited to a significant reduction in COLA increases only) is about 50% if CalPERS investment earnings average 5% or less over the next 10 years.

  18. SeeSaw Says:

    There is nothing new here. The League exists for the purpose of holding meetings and gathering this type of information. I doubt that they would take the action of reducing the pensions of the employees in the agencies, that they represent.

    We have had three Chapter 9 filings in CA in 60 years. I wouldn’t hold my breath, until another one comes along–if such does occur, it will be an individual filing, just like the Vallejo case.

  19. SeeSaw Says:

    Fed Up, I am getting fed up with such attitudes as your’s. I went into the CalPERS system in 1975, and all those years, until I retired in 2007, I never heard any stories about what a drag those that went before me were being. The employees, at my former entity, have a good laugh when I tell them what is going on out here–especially the part about how I am now stealing from them. All the people working in those public agencies, and all the public retirees, like me, are paying taxes, right now.

  20. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Rex keeps claiming that a 1954 case provides all of the controlling precedent necessary to curtail existing pension structures for active employees, but that’s probably because he hasn’t bothered to Shepardize the cases that followed.

    ==========================
    LOL..now Skippy thinks he has gotten above the white belt he OWNS because he has learned a new legal word-“Shepardize”! Skippy, I don’t know which crazy posts I love more, yours or seesaws.

    Skippy, you’re still a white belt!

    BTW, there is NO case law on point in either state or federal court with regard to the public pensions for a couple of reasons, #1) they were never a problem unitl 1999 when CalTURDS and the public trough feeder piglets got greeedy and passed SB400, and #2) We have never had GED educated rank and file gov employees-like cop and firewhiner- being compensatred $200K per year.

  21. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Rex keeps claiming that a 1954 case provides all of the controlling precedent necessary to curtail existing pension structures for active employees, but that’s probably because he hasn’t bothered to Shepardize the cases that followed.

    =============\

    The case was actually a 1978 case, where did you come up with 1954???

  22. Tough Love Says:

    Quoting SeeSaw ….. “The employees, at my former entity, have a good laugh when I tell them what is going on out here–especially the part about how I am now stealing from them.”

    A suggestion, check back with these same employees in about 5 years. See how please there are then with what you have and still are (if you’re lucky) still collecting. Their happy chuckles will be long gone, and you’ll be enemy #1.

  23. SeeSaw Says:

    TL, I bet all retirees have been hearing those warnings, for the whole 80 years, that benefits have been paid by CalPERS.

  24. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    TL, I bet all retirees have been hearing those warnings, for the whole 80 years, that benefits have been paid by CalPERS.

    =======================

    Seesaw, for the first 70 years CalTURDS was not paying out $1 million-$10 million pensions to “retirees” starting at age 50!

    For the first 70 years CalTURDS did not have rank and file gov employees with GED educations comping $200K per year.

    For the first 70 years CalTURDS was not paying off/bribing the entire CA democratic party.

    Times, they are a changin! The pensions “promised” are simply not going to be paid because Mr. Math is not going to alllow it. The jig is UP, gravy train ride is OVER. You need to understand that.

    The ones who will be taking the hit won’t be the pensioners who have modest pensions of $30K or less, it is going to be those who are collecting $100K+ and have another 30-50 years left of collecting, those are the ones who are going to take a sock in the shorts. Like prison guards, cops, firewhiners, all those scammers in the so called “public safety” jobs.

  25. Just Wondering Says:

    The Betts case is very clear….

    “and changes in a pension plan which result in disadvantage to employees should be accompanied by comparable new advantages.”

    As pointed out the phase “should be” is prescriptive.

  26. SeeSaw Says:

    Rex, you seem to be in a constant state of anger over perceived , false notions about most pensioners. Why don’t you do something about it.

  27. skippingdog Says:

    John moore – I know that hope springs eternal among the anti-government pension crowd, but your reliance on the Cedar Falls matter is misguided.

    Cedar Falls and Prichard, with a combined population of approximately 50,000 people and a total of something like 350-400 current and retired employees, are also examples of cities that have funded their pension programs through current appropriations on a pay-go basis. This is an entirely different approach than most pooled risk pension funds, including CalPERS in its contracts to provide pension services for your Pacific Grove.

    In the event of a Chapter 9 action, it would not be CalPERS doing the filing, but Pacific Grove. CalPERS would certainly be one, if not the largest, creditor in the filing, but it would continue to pay its retired members throughout whatever Chapter 9 reorganization process approved for the filing municipality.

    There is plenty of information available concerning the requirements for filing Chapter 9 bankruptcy, as well as extensive discussion of the benefits and potential advantages for a municipality seeking such relief, so there’s no point in listing them here. What is important to remember is that Chapter 9 is not Chapter 11, and that the purpose of Chapter 9 is to provide a municipality with breathing room to reorganize and pay its obligations, if necessary with an expanded payment horizon.

    So, keep watching Cedar Falls if it gives you hope that government obligations to its retirees will somehow be found to be nothing more than an empty promise in that community, but you shouldn’t hold out the unsupported and, frankly, underhanded hope that a similar result is possible for your own community.

  28. john moore Says:

    Skipping Dog: You are so mis-informed that I can’t help you. I don’t have a dog in this fight,but I hope that this beautiful town can somehow survive. Calpers has lost over 50% of our pension fund,so over time it will go beyond zero. The liability will exceed the sum of the fully funded plan. I want to avoid that if possible,but it is tough to get people to believe the facts. Even if Pacific Grove privatizes all city services at half the cost,the existing deficit will consume it. That is the reality. It is not a situation that makes me hate anyone. I just want some justice for our citizens. By the way,Ceder Falls is supposed to have a fully funded pension plan. It is pay as you go because the defined benefit plan is only 8.6% funded. I wish you well

  29. skippingdog Says:

    I wish you well also, john moore, but that doesn’t remove the fundamental differences between the Cedar Falls city pension plan and CalPERS.

    I’ve visited PG many times and have friends there, so I have no desire to see anything adverse occur in your fine city. Nonetheless, your contract with CalPERS will continue to exist until the city representatives vote to end the contract, pay the accrued obligations, and initiate either full Social Security participation or some city administered pension plan that meets IRS requirements. There’s no easy way out, and the obligations of the city will remain the obligations of the city.

    I’m puzzled by your claim that I’m somehow misinformed, but would welcome any legal or administrative insight you may have that would demonstrate my analysis of your problem to be incorrect.

  30. Tough Love Says:

    Quoting Skippingdog …”There’s no easy way out, and the obligations of the city will remain the obligations of the city.”

    “Obligations” ….. don’t always get paid.

  31. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Cedar Falls and Prichard, with a combined population of approximately 50,000 people and a total of something like 350-400 current and retired employees, are also examples of cities that have funded their pension programs through current appropriations on a pay-go basis. This is an entirely different approach than most pooled risk pension funds, including CalPERS in its contracts to provide pension services for your Pacific Grove.

    ====================
    Does not matter HOW the pension fund was funded Skippy, it doesn’t matter how many people are in the pension fund . Cedar Falls is BK, and in BK court. The court has the power to do almost anything it wants to do to remedy the problem of no cash flow. That means pension haircuts.

    Once the BK court rules the pension contracts can be broken-and they cannot rule any other way because they have no $$$- then it will be binding on the 1st Circuit and persuasive on all others.

    School is IN Skippy🙂

  32. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    In the event of a Chapter 9 action, it would not be CalPERS doing the filing, but Pacific Grove. CalPERS would certainly be one, if not the largest, creditor in the filing, but it would continue to pay its retired members throughout whatever Chapter 9 reorganization process approved for the filing municipality.

    =====================
    CalTURDS is not a creditor Skippy-how many times do I have to drill that into your thick, air filled skull?????

    The pensioners are the creditors, not CalTURDS. The money is NOT owed to CalTURDS, but to current employees. CURRENT employees will be the creditors.

    Retired employees will not be a part of any muni filing because they are not creditors.

  33. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Chapter 9 is to provide a municipality with breathing room to reorganize and pay its obligations, if necessary with an expanded payment horizon.

    ===============
    NO, Chapter 9 is NOT to make an “expanded payment horizon.” Skippy, with MORE SPIN.

    Cedar Falls will NOT be forced itno an “expanded payment horizon”, the pensions are going to get haircuts-and it will be within 30 days-the BK plan is already be filed, they want this Chapter 9 over and done with in 30 days, and at the end of that 30 day period there are going to be some serious pension haircuts, and it will be applied nationwide.

  34. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Rex, you seem to be in a constant state of anger over perceived , false notions about most pensioners. Why don’t you do something about it.

    =====================
    Seesaw, you seem to be in a constant state of intoxication based on your unsupported and wild speculative rants.

    Get some Prozac, might help.

  35. SeeSaw Says:

    Yes, Rex. CalPERS would be a creditor if a CA City, member of the plan went bankrupt, because said City would still have liabilities to the Plan. The retirees would also be creditors, if said City planned not to pay those liabilities to the Plan.

    What makes you think everything in Central Falls will be over in 30 days? The Vallejo bankruptcy has taken three years.

    People who know me would wonder what you were on, if they saw your description of me.

  36. SeeSaw Says:

    Rex, please explain how the Central Falls, RI situation is going to apply to pensions nation-wide.

  37. SeeSaw Says:

    I followed the Vallejo bankruptcy case on the internet, Rex. The retirees were listed as creditors, and the City of Vallejo had set up a retiree committe, so that the committee could receive and relate bankruptcy information, to the retirees.

  38. john moore Says:

    A problem with CALpers is that it is so incompetent as an investor that cities like Pacific Grove have the worst of all worlds: A defined benefit plan that requires payments like a pay as you go plan,but continues to create unfunded deficits faster than the city can pay.Simple research shows that since 3@50 in 1999,a simple index mutual fund ended with a 35% greater investment gain than Calpers with its’ rock and roll investment schemes.

  39. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Gov Piglets need some haircuts- and here is Rex’s solution;

    1. Salaries are too high.
    2. Pensions are too high.
    3. CONTRIBUTIONS ARE TOO LOW.
    4. Retirement is too early.

    All need to be cured. GED employees should not bereceiving $100K-$350K (with OT) in salary. They should not be able to retire until age 67. They should be forced into SS and forced to pay THEIR OWN share of it-6.2%.

  40. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Rex, please explain how the Central Falls, RI situation is going to apply to pensions nation-wide.

    ================
    Because it is a FEDERAL case seesaw.

    Federal law is uniform for the most part-basically all the same with very few – but usually minor- variations. When there is a split in the 13 court of appeal circuits the SCOTUS usually settles it.

    That is why if a case is decided in RI it will be looked at very closely in CA by the federal courts here, and likely rule along the same lines.

    By way of example, many of the 37 act public employee retirement system piglets have been TRYING (unsuccessfully) to not release the names and pensions of public employees. Each county has it’s own court system, and there are 6 different appeals courts that hear appeals from the 58 county courts-so far three of the six appeals courts have ruled in favor of disclosing this information. What has been happening in a ruling at either the county/superior court level or othr DCA’s is they CITE to the appeals courts, in other jurisdictions, and say this is how they ruled and I agree.

    This is very true of federal courts.

    THAT is why what happens in Cedar Falls RI will have a direct relationship to muni’s all across the land. The judge in RI knows this and is going to issue a very well thougth out and thorough opinion breaking the pensions.

    Wait and see🙂

  41. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Yes, Rex. CalPERS would be a creditor if a CA City, member of the plan went bankrupt, because said City would still have liabilities to the Plan.
    ===========================
    NO, the cities would have liabilities to the current EMPLOYEES, not their pension plans. THE CURRENT EMPLOYEES.

  42. skippingdog Says:

    Rex –

    “The purpose of chapter 9 is to provide a financially-distressed municipality protection from its creditors while it develops and negotiates a plan for adjusting its debts. Reorganization of the debts of a municipality is typically accomplished either by extending debt maturities, reducing the amount of principal or interest, or refinancing the debt by obtaining a new loan.”

    What part of that statement do you not understand?

    http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyBasics/Chapter9.aspx

  43. skippingdog Says:

    Here’s a previous Calpensions article that explains CalPERS standing as a creditor for Vallejo.

    https://calpensions.com/2009/01/15/bankrupt-vallejo-eyes-calpers/

  44. skippingdog Says:

    CalPERS is rated AAA by Fitch. Why would you be unhappy with that kind of performance, john moore?

    http://www.globalpensions.com/global-pensions/news/2101842/fitch-affirms-calpers-aaa-calstrs-aa

  45. skippingdog Says:

    Dumb AND obstinate is no way for you to go through life, Rex. You need to open your mind and quit behaving so badly.

    Otherwise, you’ll end up running with a pack of other bad dogs and you’ll have to be euthanized.

    Think about it….

  46. Tough Love Says:

    Skippy, That last one was funny.

  47. john moore Says:

    Here’s what Calpers did for Pacific Grove: last year the City paid $668,000 to its’ retirees. It is paying 1.6 million to Calpers,1.6 million for pension bonds and will run a 4 million(give or take) deficit,for a total cost of about 7.2 million for the year. Calpers made the cost of retirement benefits about eleven times the cost of pay as you go.. The CDOs’ that blew up in the countrys’ face were rated AAA. Calpers rate will continue to increase as past losses are written off,per Barbara Ware of Calpers(who,just happens to be the actuary for Pacific Groves account)

  48. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    The city of Vallejo’s groundbreaking attempt to use bankruptcy to overturn expensive labor contracts may include pension and retiree health contracts with CalPERS.

    The list of creditors holding the “20 largest unsecured claims” issued by Vallejo when it declared bankruptcy last May was topped by the California Public Employees Retirement System — $135 million for retiree health care and $84 million for pensions.
    =========================
    The creditor is the employee-NOT CalTURDS Skippy.

    Why must I spank you so often in public son🙂

  49. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Rex –

    “The purpose of chapter 9 is to provide a financially-distressed municipality protection from its creditors while it develops and negotiates a plan for adjusting its debts. Reorganization of the debts of a municipality is typically accomplished either by extending debt maturities, reducing the amount of principal or interest, or refinancing the debt by obtaining a new loan.”

    What part of that statement do you not understand?
    ============================
    This part rigth here;

    “Reorganization of the debts of a municipality is typically accomplished either by extending debt maturities, reducing the amount of principal or interest, or refinancing the debt by obtaining a new loan.”

    BAM!!!!!

    Now, what part of the words “Pension Haircut” do YOU not understand Skippy?????

    Here, let me hlep you out Reducing the amount of principal as in pension cuts.

  50. skippingdog Says:

    Rex – once more, you chose only the most punitive option and ignore all of the others presented in the statute. A bankruptcy court will be looking at all of the options to determine which of them meets the needs of both the filing municipality and the creditors, and working with the municipality to fashion a workout plan that meets all of the obligations possible.

    Even in the most extreme circumstances, there’s nothing to suggest that a municipal government’s obligations to CalPERS will merely be vacated, but it is reasonable to expect that those obligations would be refinanced through new bond debt or given consideration in an extended payment plan.

    In your haste to impose some punitive action against government employees and retirees, against whom you clearly have some type of grudge, you ignore the clear requirements of both bankruptcy law and moral decency.

  51. Tough Love Says:

    Quoting Skippy, “….but it is reasonable to expect that those obligations would be refinanced through new bond debt or given consideration in an extended payment plan.”

    These options just kick the can down the road as the debt is just pushed out but not diminished. Such actions might coordinate better with cash flow revenue but generally are insufficient. By the time you enter BK, you almost always need to have at least a portion of the principal written off. In Corporate BKs, the bondholders rarely get away w/o a haircut.

    The BK judge will have quite a variety of options to work with in a Gov’t BK: staff cuts, salary reductions, benefit (e.g., healthcare) cuts, pension plan reductions. Lucky for you, a hit to retirees will likely only occur under desperate circumstances … e.g., if the otherwise-needed pension cuts to actives would be so severe that a cut to retirees is justifiable.

  52. skippingdog Says:

    I don’t think it’s necessary for us to argue about the potential impact of a Chapter 9 filing on California retirees, TL. There’s really no way to go back into the CalPERS system and undo a pension that is already vested and, more importantly, being paid to a retired employee.

    Bankruptcy courts have the authority to modify “executory contracts” under Chapter 9, but no person collecting a pension check from CalPERS or another pension trust has an executory contract with the municipality once they retire. In the Vallejo case, the retirees were identified as creditors because they had post-retirement health benefits for which CalPERS was only the administrator. That’s a far different circumstance than vested retirement benefits in the CalPERS trust.

    Unless CalPERS itself files a Chapter 9 at some future point, I don’t see how you modify or eliminate the payments it is contracted to make to its members. Perhaps you can enlighten me if you have more relevant information.

    Remember that CalPERS is not the State of California, nor is it any of the municipalities who contract with it to provide pension benefits. It is a constitutionally independent organization with a charter that requires it to make its fiduciary decisions only with regard to the benefits of its membership.

  53. skippingdog Says:

    One other point, TL. CalPERS continues to make pension payments to retirees of government organizations that no longer exist in California. That’s one of the reasons there has been long standing public policy to support the fund, even if you could make the argument that a member agency had not paid enough into the trust to continue a member’s pension payment until their own death. It is even more apparent when one considers the lengthy commitment necessary to ensure lifelong pension payments to the survivors of pensioners, although those are calculated at a much lower rate than the “unmodified benefit.”

  54. skippingdog Says:

    john moore – I just looked at the Pacific Grove budget for FY 10-11 and it shows the city’s pension and pension bond debt cost for the year as 6% of your $27.8 million dollar budget, or approximately $1.68 million for the entire city obligation.

    Your golf course and activities cost a full 11% of the budget, and it’s not clear how much it makes in return.

    I’m sure you’ll have increasing pension costs in future years, both because the losses of the past 3 years have to be amortized, and because at least some salaries will increase for city workers.

    http://www.ci.pg.ca.us/budget/pdf/Budget%20-%20FY%202010-11%20Budget%20Doc%20Final%209-2-10.pdf

  55. Tough Love Says:

    Quoting skippy …”Unless CalPERS itself files a Chapter 9 at some future point, I don’t see how you modify or eliminate the payments it is contracted to make to its members. Perhaps you can enlighten me if you have more relevant information.”

    I understand what you said, but assuming a municipality is still funding the pensions of a group retirees and that municipality will not or cannot pay this obligation to CalPERS, I assumed in turn that CalPERS can & would than reduce the pension of that retiree accordingly. Do you know how this might actually work?

  56. skippingdog Says:

    A large number of cities are members of risk pools in CalPERS, so I don’t know how you would tease out their individual account balances. As for the various cities, etc. that have their own retirement trust accounts, they also would have some long-term obligations for which they had contracted, and many of those have “funded levels” of anywhere between 65% and 90% + as of close of business in 2009. Just to make it more problematic, there are still quite a number of California agencies that qualified, even then when the markets were down low, as “superfunded,” meaning they have more than 100% of their obligations in current value.

    CalPERS applies two charges to most of its contracts, the first for the normal annual contribution and the second for the UAL. A quick look at their posted rates shows the first to be about 16-18% for law enforcement/fire with a safety plan, with an additional 6-12% surcharge added on to pay down the UAL. Non safety employees are less expensive, as you would probably guess.

    CalPERS also uses a fairly long time horizon, with a stated goal of being 85% funded by 2043. Unless I’m a very lucky old man, I’ll be long gone by then.

    The problem with this whole discussion of Chapter 9 BK is that many people don’t seem to realize Chapter 9 is far different from Chapter 11. Cities don’t just liquidate and disappear, which is why the focus of that statute is on some form of reorganization, payment modification, etc.

    I don’t doubt that if things get bad enough financially there will be attempts to modify and reduce pensions for existing retirees, but that is such a legally and socially radical plan that it’s hard to imagine it would be among the first options selected to address such a situation. You and I both know it would be a tooth and nail fight to the death for the cities, employee groups, and retirees involved.

    That kind of extreme response also suggests there would be severe financial problems occurring throughout the rest of the economy, such as municipal bond defaults and perhaps state level sovereign debt defaults, in addition to a DJIA back down to or below 2000. It really does involve a doomsday scenario.

    Everyone and everything would be harmed, perhaps irreparably, which is why it’s difficult to understand why anyone would hope for such an outcome. Do they really think any of their own savings and investments would have survived intact at that point? How much would real estate be worth? What markets would be left?

    Having acknowledged that such a thing is possible, it also seems likely that everyone responsible for actually running our system would have done everything possible to avoid such a circumstance before it actually occurred. That’s why I don’t think we’ll be seeing any such thing on a widespread basis. There are too many people with too much to lose – both inside and outside of government.

  57. skippingdog Says:

    One other factor to consider, TL. Many municipalities have financed their pension payment obligations to CalPERS with pension obligation bonds. It’s not at all clear to me how you would unwind those, particularly if the bondholders are preferred creditors as is being discussed in RI.

  58. Tough Love Says:

    Ok, but if the retirees/actives from a municipality (with a UAL) that can’t pay means that the retirees/actives still get 100% of promised pensions, then the shortfall from that municipality must get proportionally added to the remaining member communities bills to CalPERS.

    I suppose it would be so small for 1 failing municipality that CalPERS might delay factoring this shortfall into the calculation of what each municipality must pay until they were sure the failure debt was uncollectable.

    This would work OK as long as the number of failing municipalities does not become material. If it did, CalPERS would find itself in the same problem that Private Sector “multi-employer” Union Plans find themselves in today….. where it’s sort of “last-company-standing” pays ALL the bills, which in CalPERS case, would mean that the Taxpayers of the still-financially-sound municipalities would now be funding the pensions of the actives and retired employees of OTHER municipalities.

    So it seems you’re likely correct … unless the financial mess gets real bad. By the way, a Dow at $5K-$7K for a few years might trigger this. $2000 is so way off the charts, anarchy would have long since developed.

  59. skippingdog Says:

    I think your analysis is also correct, so the current efforts to add tiers, increase member contributions, and avoid both spiking and pension payment holidays will all have a cumulative and positive effect, as will the eventual return of a more normal environment in the financial markets.

    Warren Buffett was on Charlie Rose the other night and had some sage and insightful things to say about the current condition of American and world finances, as well as what we might reasonably expect in the future. I’d be inclined to give him much more credit for financial expertise than most of the people we encounter in either the financial pages or on these boards, and he didn’t sound pessimistic at all. He did acknowledge that a long term market decline would cause us, and the rest of the world, great problems, but he seemed to think this was just another business cycle for us that would work itself out over the next several years.

    Have a good day. I’m sure we’ll talk again soon.

  60. Tough Love Says:

    Skippy, I believe the consonance to the US of a 2-3% rise in interest rate would be much more significant than a market decline. I seem to recall an analysis showed that the ENTIRE $1.7 Billion debt reduction over 10 years (tied to the recent debt ceiling increase) would be wiped out by the US Gov’t paying just 1% higher interest on it’s outstanding debt. Sounds like we’re in DEEP trouble if interest rates rise ……… I guess that’s why the Fed Head is working so hard to keep them low. But unfortunately, he has very little influence over any but the shortest-term rates.

  61. Tough Love Says:

    That $1.7 Billion (in my comment above) was supposed to be $1.7 Trillion.

  62. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Many municipalities have financed their pension payment obligations to CalPERS with pension obligation bonds.
    ==================
    That is correct Skippy, pension obligation bonds were floated (another awful idea dreamed up by gov scammers)- and who would lose under that scenario Skippy??? .

    BOND HOLDERS, not CalTURDS who already has the money from the bonds.

    Skippy. I want to make a bet with you. I will bet you a $50 dinner at Ruth Chris Steakhouse that the FEDERAL COURT in RI cuts PENSIONS. It does not matter by how much or if everyone gets a haircut-but haircuts will be given. Once the 1st Circuit gives pension haircuts it will apply as precedent in the 1st Circuit and will be persuasive precedent in the other 12 Circuits.

    OK, there you go buddy- put your money where your big white belt legal mouth is🙂

  63. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Skippy-where are you??

    Don’t run off, not when I laid my cards on the table!!!!

  64. skippingdog Says:

    You’ve obviously never spent much time at Ruth’s Chris, Rex. $50 wouldn’t even get us through the appetizer course.

    Having said that, since the Cedar Falls pension plan is a city operated plan, not part of a larger risk group like, say, CalPERS, what you’re proposing is a chump bet. The same would be true for your other favorite town, Prichard.

    I have no idea what will happen in Cedar Falls, any more than you do, and I’ve never paid any attention to Rhode Island law, pension related or otherwise.

    We’re still talking about a total of less than 500 people, currently employed and retired, in both Cedar Falls and Prichard, both cities in which there was nothing more than a small and underfunded pension plan operated by those individual cities in the first place.

    The systems aren’t even the same as each other, much less any of the California plans, so making a comparison is no more relevant than comparing CalPERS to some Canadian plan – see Leo Kolvakis for more details.

  65. skippingdog Says:

    BTW, Rex. You still need to read up on Chapter 9 bankruptcy. You’ll find that each filing is fact specific, according to the courts and the people who handle these things professionally, so whatever happens in Cedar Falls will be binding only on Cedar Falls, unless there’s an appellate fight over the statute itself.

    You’ve been incorrect about the law so many times now that I’m surprised you keep coming back for more.

  66. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    You’ve obviously never spent much time at Ruth’s Chris, Rex. $50 wouldn’t even get us through the appetizer course.
    ================
    You’re correct- I never have been there, lets raise the ante to $100🙂

    /
    You’ll find that each filing is fact specific, according to the courts and the people who handle these things professionally, so whatever happens in Cedar Falls will be binding only on Cedar Falls, unless there’s an appellate fight over the statute itself.
    ==================
    Oh, Skippy the white belt playing Perry Mason again, I love it. Skippy, the law is very simple, when a court rules that pensions can be cut it is called “precedent” and it is supposed to be followed by future courts under a concept known as stare decisis, and if the court is in a different circuit it may still be cited to be followed as persuasive precednt . So, what happens in Cedar Falls RI will be used all across the USA.

    OK, now that I schooled you in todays lesson-are you taking my bet or not?
    /

    You’ve been incorrect about the law so many times now that I’m surprised you keep coming back for more
    ================
    Skippy-wake up-time to wake up-you’re dreaming again I see🙂

  67. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Having said that, since the Cedar Falls pension plan is a city operated plan, not part of a larger risk group like, say, CalPERS, what you’re proposing is a chump bet. The same would be true for your other favorite town, Prichard.
    =================
    So what-who has the plan and what kind does not matter, if the plan is owed money and that money cannot be paid the plan takes a pension haircut.
    /

    I have no idea what will happen in Cedar Falls, any more than you do, and I’ve never paid any attention to Rhode Island law, pension related or otherwise.
    =======================
    RI law has nothing to do with a federal BK court-how many times do I have to drill thagt into your head before you get it? Once in BK court state law goes bye-bye, out the window.
    /

    We’re still talking about a total of less than 500 people, currently employed and retired, in both Cedar Falls and Prichard, both cities in which there was nothing more than a small and underfunded pension plan operated by those individual cities in the first place.
    =====================
    Number of people in plan does NOT matter, the ONLY thing that matters is that the pension plans cannot be paid, and can they be given a haircut. Yes they can be given a haircut.
    /

    The systems aren’t even the same as each other, much less any of the California plans, so making a comparison is no more relevant than comparing CalPERS to some Canadian plan – see Leo Kolvakis for more details.
    ==================
    Once again, the systems need only TWO thing in common, 1-the are owed money and 2-cannot be paid. End of analysis.

  68. skippingdog Says:

    Rex, you’re grasping at straws again and not doing a very good job at it.

    You don’t seem to have the slightest idea of how chapter 9 actually works, nor the 10th Amendment restrictions on what a bankruptcy court can do in such a filing. Until you take some time to learn the basics, there’s really nothing of value you can add to a discussion like this one.

    I understand your hope for a quick fix, particularly since you have a long history of stating your dislike and lack of respect for anyone in public service. You’re entitled to your own opinion, just like every crackpot out there is.

    The fact that you’ve been banned from even the Orange County Register’s kook blog says all there really is to say about your insight and opinions. You’re part of an extreme fringe group that seems bent only on the destruction of our country and its institutions, so there’s no point in wasting time with you further.

    Go back to your John Birch Society meetings, worry about the evil influence of the IMF, CFR, Federal Reserve, and water fluoridation on our society, and leave meaningful discussions and solutions to the adults in our society.

    Although I might at some point respond to your rants for my own amusement, you’ve conclusively proven yourself just as nuts as OCR posters Donkey and ocobserver. Therefore, you deserve no more consideration than those whack-jobs on this or any other forum.

  69. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Skippy= WHITE BELT!

    Skippy, put your $$$ where you beig fat snout is and accept my bet.

    Cedar Falls RI is going to be the fastest muni BK in US history, this time next month you will be buying me a steak dinner🙂

    (I am not a John Birch society member either…….and I am not banned, I appear to be in a time out at the “OC Watchdog”🙂 )

  70. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Skippy, Seesaw, this is for you two;

    Auditor calls CalSTRS a ‘high risk’ problem for state

    CalSTRS, billions of dollars under water, was dubbed a “high risk” problem for California by the state auditor Thursday.

    Without additional dollars from taxpayers, CalSTRS’ assets “will be depleted in 30 years,” Howle’s report says.

    http://www.sacbee.com/2011/08/19/3847445/auditor-calls-calstrs-a-high-risk.html#ixzz1VVyyiJ9h

  71. SeeSaw Says:

    I am not in CalSTRS Rex, but I understand that CalSTRS must go to the Legislature for increased funding, when it is necessary. Whatever must be done,will be done.

  72. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    sorry seesaw, wrong againb.

    1- they may not be given the funding, it is not automatic nor guaranteed

    2- there may not be the money even if they are given funding

  73. Tough Love Says:

    Quoting Seesaw …”Whatever must be done,will be done.”

    Including lowering your pension? Certainly that SHOULD be done…. just ask your husband, who no doubt worked as hard as you, but being the typical Private Sector worker, he gets little or none So WHY do you deserve a pension, paid for 80-90% by Taxpayers?

    And to beat you to the punch, no, your retirement isn’t “paid-up”, you paid for very little of it (10-20% … WITH interest) ,and Taxpayers will need to pay for a LONG time to cover your annual costs …. IF they still choose to do so …. which I doubt.

  74. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    TL, you are so right🙂

  75. SeeSaw Says:

    TL, My husband worked harder than me. He had his career ruined by the illegal invasion. I was fortuante enough to eventually be working in the public sector, where I earned a great pension. Between the two of us, we do fine, That’s what marriage is all about. I don’t have to justify or prove anything to you–end of debate.

  76. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    I was fortuante enough to eventually be working in the public sector, where I earned a great pension
    =====================
    Whether you “earned” your pension is a very debatable question.

    We know that MANY MANY public employees had retroactive pension increases gifted to them, inceases of 50%, which they did not 1) earn, 2) work for, or 3) deserve.

  77. SeeSaw Says:

    You are a very sick dog. I hope they don’t have to put you down.

  78. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Seesaw, do you for one second DENY that there have been BILLIONS of dollars gifted out to gov employees in retroactive pension benefits???????? Ala SB400, AKA 3%@50, and the all the local 37 Act pensions that followed SB400?????

    Please DENY that here, publicly.

  79. SeeSaw Says:

    There are about five different formulas in the CalPERS plan, for miscellaneous workers. The employer reviews those formulas, and contracts, with CalPERS, for the respective formula, it chooses to offer its workforce . I was lucky enough to be granted a formula enhancement, in 2002. There is no denying, that I deserved it. It resulted, five years later, in a 20% higher pension benefit, than what I would have received, with my previous, 2% at 55, formula. That increase helps with the $1200/mo payment, I must make to my former employer, to pay for medical insurance, for me and my spouse.

    The retroactive pensions were passed by the Legislature, long ago. I foresee retroactive enhancements being aboished, in the future, due to the current economic problems. The many spiking methods used with the 37 Act county pension plans, will be seeing a demise soon, I predict.

    And don’t forget, Rex. the retroactive enhancements were judged as legal, by the Courts. You lost that one, Rex. Get over it, and move on. There are a lot more serious things happening in this world right now, than public sector pensions. Make an appointment with the nearest Dog Obedience School. I promise–you will feel better.

  80. Tough Love Says:

    SeeSaw said …”There is no denying, that I deserved it.”

    WHY ? What product or service or (in legal terminology) “consideration” did you provide in return for this pension increase retroactively applied to your service in years PRIOR to the granting of this increase ?

  81. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    There are about five different formulas in the CalPERS plan, for miscellaneous workers. The employer reviews those formulas, and contracts, with CalPERS, for the respective formula, it chooses to offer its workforce . I was lucky enough to be granted a formula enhancement, in 2002. There is no denying, that I deserved it. It resulted, five years later, in a 20% higher pension benefit, than what I would have received, with my previous, 2% at 55, formula.
    ==================
    So seesaw was on the gravy train bandwagon and also got a RETROACTIVE pension increase she did not work for, earn nor pay for, but she “deserved it”………..oh brother…. now I have heard it all.

    Yikes. You are surely a delusional trough feeder seesaw. You sound like those GED cops, firewhiners and dork prison guards.

  82. SeeSaw Says:

    The legislature allowed pension formula enhancements to be made retroactive all throughout the 97 year history of the DB pension systems in CA. All was legal. My personal work history is NOYB!
    You are a couple, pathetic whiners!!

  83. Tough Love Says:

    SeeSaw, Let’s try it again…. as I’m not sure there was a response there …

    You said …”There is no denying, that I deserved it.”

    WHY ? What product or service or (in legal terminology) “consideration” did you provide in return for this pension increase retroactively applied to your service in years PRIOR to the granting of this increase ?

    More so, you also said (supposedly as justification for your being deserving of this retroactive increase) … “That increase helps with the $1200/mo payment, I must make to my former employer, to pay for medical insurance”

    Let me ask you, doesn’t the added “help” mean some other (likely a Private Sector, or shared among many) taxpayer now does not have an equal amount to pay for THEIR healthcare costs, costs that are likely even greater than yours ?

    Yes SeeSaw, you were SOOOOO “deserving” of this retroactively granted increase !

  84. SeeSaw Says:

    I doubt you can find a private sector retiree who has healthcare costs even greater than mine. Mine are $1800/mo. for group ABC insurance, that is only secondary to Medicare. My out-of-pocket there is $1200/mo., plus we must pay our own Medicare premiums which are $96 and $115/mo, respectively. If there is a private sector retiree, who pays more than I, he/she has my sympathy.

    As far as whether, or not II deserved a pension upgrade–that is not up to debate. I was one of thousands, of CA public employees, who received a pension formula upgrade. We received one back in the 80’s too–we went from 2% at 60 to 2% at 55. I didn’t see any outcry over that. (That’s because the economy was not in the dump and there was no internet, to air the whines and cries of people like you.) The most important fact, is–the upgrades, all throughout the years, have been legal in CA. For thousands——put that in your pipe.

    I was 72, at the time of my retirement, after a 40-year career, and you want to debate the question of whether or not I deserved what i get? You are a sickening human being, TL, and your little puppy, Rex, can just cuddle up to you, all you want. You deserve each other.

  85. Tough Love Says:

    SeeSaw, you said …

    “As far as whether, or not II deserved a pension upgrade–that is not up to debate. I was one of thousands, of CA public employees, who received a pension formula upgrade. ”

    While I agree that so far these retroactive increases have not yet been declared illegal, I wouldn’t count on that fight not being resurrected.

    As for your “deserving” of this increase not being “not up to debate”, why not ? As I asked 2x (and you have yet to answer) please tell the readers WHY you are “deserving” of this?

    You also enumerated your high current medical premiums and much higher than typical retirement age as somehow justifying the retroactive increase. Sorry, you are beyond grasping at straws for a shred of justification. Nether your expenses nor age at retirement has any bearing on (or justification for) this increase.

    You know what’s funny ….. if you just said in you initial comment that you GOT IT (with a LOL) saying “that life, I got lucky”, I would have chuckled and let it pass.

    It was your pushing the “deserving” aspect that initiated my reply.

    Think about it and have a nice day.

  86. SeeSaw Says:

    I deserved every penny I earned serving the public, and I deserved very penny I receive in pension benefits. There–I said it. I do not have to debate it further, and I do not have to defend it. You best move on to other pensioners, to attack, with your verbal poison.

  87. Tough Love Says:

    SeSaw ,

    So your justification is simply a bravo insistence that you “earned it” … even though it occurred in the PAST ?

    Thanks … just shows how absurd your perspective is …..”entitlement mentality” personified.

  88. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    I deserved every penny I earned serving the public, and I deserved very penny I receive in pension benefits.
    ===============
    No, you do not.

    NO ONE, including you, “deserves” to be “gifted” retroactive pension increases they did not work for, earn, nor pay for.

  89. UsaidBlahBlahBlah Says:

    Meanwhile…Wall Street Federal Reservists walk away from their disasters free and clear, looking to pick up the best pieces after the public trash each other. Hope we do not get fooled again after the next elections.

  90. Ted Steele Says:

    hmmm…let’s see…does SEE Saw deserve his pension? Well… He was promised the pension every year he worked, we know that much. So one could argue that it induced him to accept and retain the employment. It was a part of a compensation contract. Consideration was given and both sides agreed. We live in America still with a Constituion which contains a contracts clause requiring no legal abridgement to contracts made in the US.

    Yes– he deserves the pension. That is of course unless one wants to disregard 200 plus years of settled Con law and live in a sociaety where the social compact is more relaxed, like, say, ah… Somalia? No taxes there, no Constitution, almost no government….mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm—- a tea baggy paradise…

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