Brown pension reform: local workers pay more

Gov. Brown’s 12-point pension reform would not change what most state workers pay toward their pensions. But many local government workers would pay more under an even employer-employee cost split.

Nearly all state workers with the exception of the Highway Patrol, firefighters and judges are already paying half of the “normal” cost of their pensions, which does not include the “unfunded liability” that can cause the employer share to more than double.

But a CalPERS fact sheet prepared for a legislative hearing last week showed that nearly all of the local government employees in the giant system, with the exception of non-teaching school employees, are paying less than half of the normal cost.

A boost in what employees pay for their pensions would allow employers to cut their pension payments by a similar amount. So the governor’s pension plan could provide budget relief for struggling local governments.

“These 12 points are a good framework,” Brown told the legislative committee, “and to the extent they affect the locals that’s good, particularly in the 50-50 contributions, an important measure.”

Marty Morgenstern, Brown’s labor secretary, told the legislators the plan is to phase in the even split of normal pension costs through collective bargaining as labor contracts expire.

Some of the new equal-share policy could be enacted through legislation. About a third of state workers, he said, are managers and supervisors not covered by collective bargaining.

“Setting minimum and maximum annual rate increases until the base line is achieved could be a reasonable way to implement this, we think,” Morgenstern told the legislators.

He said the plan calls for an equal split of normal costs, not the full cost that includes the unfunded liability, because “we don’t want to attach that to the new members coming in.”

Most state workers contribute 8 percent of pay toward their pension, more than half of the 14.4 percent normal cost. But the state employers contribute 17 percent of pay toward the pensions of these workers, an amount that includes the unfunded liability.

The “normal” cost is the amount actuaries say is needed, with investment earnings, to pay for pension obligations accrued in the current year. The “unfunded liability” is the pension debt from previous years, mostly due to investment losses.

The fact sheet said the California Public Employees Retirement System, which covers about half of all non-federal government workers in the state, was about 75 percent funded as of last June 30 with an unfunded liability of $85-90 billion.

Critics say the unfunded liability is probably much larger. They argue that the CalPERS forecast of future investment earnings, an average of 7.75 percent, is too optimistic and not likely to be achieved.

Investment earnings are expected to provide most of the revenue for California public pension funds. The CalPERS investment fund, $225 billion last week, is still well below its peak of $260 billion four years ago.

The fact sheet gave this breakdown of the sources of the typical CalPERS dollar: investment earnings 66 cents (historically as high as 75 cents), employers 21 cents, and employees 13 cents.

Brown reminded the legislators that he proposed never-enacted pension reform in the last budget of his previous term, 1982, and was mayor of Oakland in 1999 when the Legislature enacted a major pension increase for state workers, SB 400.

“I said, ‘Wow, how do you pay for that,’” Brown said. “I was told it’s free, doesn’t cost anything. PERS assures us that the system can fully incorporate it. I was incredulous at the time, and I’m still incredulous. It costs money.”

CalPERS told legislators the cost of the pension increase would be covered by a surplus and investment earnings. But the state CalPERS payment, dropped to $150 million as the stock market boomed in 2000, soared to $2.5 billion five years later.

The best-known provision in SB 400 was a 50 percent pension increase for the Highway Patrol, providing retirement at age 50 with 3 percent of final pay for each year served.

To remain competitive with the trendsetting Highway Patrol, many local police and firefighters have bargained similar pension increases. And personnel costs are a major part of local government budgets.

Brown referred to the state’s role in increasing local pensions and the Legislative Analyst’s estimate (page 40) last month that state CalPERS payments, $3.6 billion this year, will increase to $3.8 billion by fiscal 2016-17.

“PERS contributions over the next three or four years only grow by a couple hundred million,” Brown said in reply to a question from Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, about whether his plan puts “parameters” around local pensions.

“That percentage is smaller relative to our overall general fund than is faced by San Jose, Los Angeles, San Francisco or Oakland,” the governor said. “I think because there has been a resort to state action in local benefits, then it’s reasonable to continue in that tradition to bolster the funds and make them more solvent.

“I don’t think we should limit local creativity, and I think we will learn a great deal by the different votes and measures that are going to be considered at the local level. So there is going to be a lot of battles, and that’s why I say this will go on over the next few years.”

An initiative on the San Diego ballot in June would switch new hires to a 401(k)-style investment plan and place a five-year freeze on the pay of current workers used to calculate pensions.

A plan by San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed to put a pension measure on a March ballot in council action tomorrow may be pushed back to June. A surprising new actuary estimate said police and firefighter pension costs will drop next year not increase.

The actuary, Cheiron, said the city pension contribution this year, $127 million, is expected to be $105 million next year not $160 million as expected earlier, apparently due to layoffs and pay cuts.

Unions criticize key Brown proposals that switch new hires to a “hybrid” plan (aimed at replacing 75 percent of income with a smaller pension, a 401(k)-style plan and Social Security) and that extend the full retirement age for new hires to 67, much like Social Security.

The Legislative Analyst doubts that an equal split of normal costs can be applied to current workers without infringing on their vested rights, which limit most cost-cutting pension changes to new hires.

But there is legislative and union support for parts of the Brown plan that curb abuses, such as “spiking” to boost pension payments. The two-house committee is expected to issue a reform package next year, probably before budget action heats up in June.

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 5 Dec 11

CalPERS Pension Facts: 'Public agency members' are local government

133 Responses to “Brown pension reform: local workers pay more”

  1. Tough Love Says:

    With the TRUE cost (expressed as a level annual % pf pay) for the typical non-safety worker who works 30 years and retires at age 55-60 being 40% (yes 40% !) the STATE workers’ are paying no where near half the TRUE costs.

    The workers may be paying half of the minimalized cost calculated by discounting liabilities at the absurdly high rate assumed for asset growth but that’s FAR FAR from the TRUE total cost of the VERY VERY generous Plans.

    With passage of laws to make workers pay HALF the Plans cost, there will be even be greater pressure to NOT value these Plans properly ….. as the employees’ cost would certainly rise significantly.

  2. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    He said the plan calls for an equal split of normal costs, not the full cost that includes the unfunded liability, because “we don’t want to attach that to the new members coming in.”

    Meaning less reform.

    The 12 point plan covers about 5% of the shortfall and will do nothing, in either the long term nor short term, to make these scams work.

    Simple solution, put them ALL in social security, like everyone else is. Problem solved.

    BTW Tough Llove, the TRUE cost of a 3%@50 pension using a real discounted rate of 5% would be about equal to the base salary-probably more than the base salary.

  3. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    The Legislative Analyst doubts that an equal split of normal costs can be applied to current workers without infringing on their vested rights, which limit most cost-cutting pension changes to new hires.

    There is NO CONTRACT, implied or otherwise, that a person hired under a specific contract is entitled to a pension not contractsed for as long as they are employed.

    Why do we keep seeing and hearign this mythical old wives tale that is not supported by ANY statute or case law whatsoever????????????

    I am tired of seeing the trough feeders spout it off as if it was written in the Bible or US Constitution.

  4. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    “I said, ‘Wow, how do you pay for that,’” Brown said. “I was told it’s free, doesn’t cost anything. PERS assures us that the system can fully incorporate it. I was incredulous at the time, and I’m still incredulous. It costs money.”

    In the real world CalTURDS would be sued for FRAUD, because that is exactly what they did, they defrauded the taxpayer by inducing the legislators to hike pensions using bogus estimates of cost. Straight up fraud. They should be sued. SB400-aka3%@5- may even be able to be struck down, overturned, on the basis of fraud IMO.

    CalPERS told legislators the cost of the pension increase would be covered by a surplus and investment earnings. But the state CalPERS payment, dropped to $150 million as the stock market boomed in 2000, soared to $2.5 billion five years later. And that was a lie, a knowing, willful and intentional lie-straigh up fraud.

  5. Theodore Steele IV, Associate Justice Says:

    LOL— Put them all on SS? Like that works to support people after retirement? I like Brown’s plan, well most of it. “Fraud”? Struck down for fraud? Is this yet ANOTHER prediction? LOL

    1. Give me a case or statutory cite for the fraud theory?
    2. Still waiting for a case citation proving abrogation of the contracts clause.

    Or are your predictions still like your old lawsuit prediction about the cops and fire pensions; completely without ANY legal authority???

    Perhaps if you have, well, absolutely no legal skill, knowledge, talents, you should leave that to those who do?

    Oh my……. this is easy.

  6. SkippingDog Says:

    Slapping down Rex when he’s making those pitiful barking noises about “No Contract” and “No case law” is getting easier every time he makes a noise.

    Perhaps one day he’ll actually do some research on his own or maybe read one of the court cases – maybe the recent case involving Orange County – and see for himself the decades of precedent involved in identifying these as vested and untouchable benefits.

  7. John Dickerson Says:

    I have a horrible feeling that we already have more unfunded pension and retiree healthcare debt than the people are going to be willing to pay through increased taxes and/or service cuts. I don’t think it’s a good bet to count on another stock market boom to bail us out. I think the notion of a federal bail-out is a dream with no reality.

    My “feeling” is based on 5 years of analyzing Mendocino County’s unfunded retiree benefit debt and reporting about it.

    I’ve been looking for the financial analysis that should be the foundation for Jerry’s proposals – but can’t find it (so far). What is the range of expected future local and state government payments to eliminate unfunded retirement benefits? How much would Jerry’s proposals reduce those payments? Would it be enough to preserve the level of public services the public expects – or do we have a financial crisis that as of yet has no solution?

    I think the unfunded obligation (the value of which depends on how you calculate it – particularly the discount rate) is the killer. Jerry’s proposal doesn’t deal with it.

    Californian’s for Pension Reform’s proposals do have a mechanism to deal with underfunded Pension Funds – but it’s complex. I haven’t yet modeled it.

    Any “real” pension reform must have a way to determine if the unfunded obligation is “too big” to preserve public services at a price the public is willing and able to pay – and a way to restructure the debt if it’s “too big”.

    Jerry’s proposal doesn’t have that – it’s the Achilles Heel – the soft spot that would cause it to fail as a real solution.

    For anyone to simply say “it has to be paid – it’s an inalienable vested right” is the lazy way out. As Jefferson said “the earth belongs to the living” – past generations can’t expect to impose their debt on the future. At some point voters will reject the obligation to pay these debts if they get to the “breaking point” – one way or another. That’s reality.

  8. Bronee Says:

    John, When you marginalize the delta of benefits in today’s dollars, reform various aspects of payment in and out, and deal with new tiers in a positive way, it looks like it works fine——- of course assuming ror in the ballpark it has been in for 20-30-40 etc.

  9. John Dickerson Says:

    An example of an aspect of our problems.

    Mendocino County is one of 21 counties that elected not to participate in CalPERS but instead to have its own independent Pension Fund. All but 1 of these counties’ retirement system are organized under the “1937 County Employees Retirement Law” (CERL).

    CERL has a provision that allows County systems to use “Excess Earnings” to pay benefits other than pensions. Excess Earnings is defined as any earnings over the Fund’s target return IN ANY ONE YEAR without regard to the funding position of the Fund. (There’s a couple of other less-impactful parts to the rule – but simply thinking of it as anything over target is essentially correct.)

    Mendocino County officials – and its Retirement Officials – told the people for 20 years that retiree healthcare was paid for from “Excess Earnings”.

    I asked “how can there be Excess Earnings when the County was forced to borrow a total of $110 million by selling Pension Obligation Bonds in 1996 and 2002? How can there have been Excess Earnings when the Fund’s own Actuary says it’s 13 year average return on investment has been 25% below target?”

    There never were any “Excess Earnings” – it’s a legislatively created “New Speak” that is absurd on its face. The reality is retiree healthcare was paid 100% by increasing the County’s long-term debt – and that debt today is destroying County jobs and services.

    The City of San Diego got slapped down hard by the IRS for using “Surplus Earnings” (as defined for Charter Cities) to pay retiree healthcare in exactly the same situation – diversions from an underfunded Pension Fund thereby further weakening the Fund – and putting the debt on the City.

    When I complained to the Board of Supervisors about the $110 million of Pension Bonds having been sold without a vote of the people the County’s Treasurer-Tax Collector and Auditor-Controller both said “what’s the problem? We’ve still got the money!

    “Huh” says I – “we don’t have the money – we have the debt.” But then I realized I wasn’t a part of their “we” – their we was County officials, employees and retirees – yeah, they still had the money – in their Pension Fund. But us “outsiders” – the people of the County – had the debt.

    So – where was our local SEIU in all this? Why weren’t they yelling bloody murder as their members’ Pension Fund was being raided to pay a benefit that wasn’t a part of collective bargaining? Well – it was good for their former members so they said nothing.

    I asked the State Controller’s Office to examine this practice. No response. I asked the State Attorney General’s office – no response. No state agency has exerted any oversight of our County’s retirement system. PERIOD!

    Government officials and public employee unions all over this state are going to reap the whirlwind they created through this kind of behavior. They have violated the trust of the people and are about to be treated accordingly.

    And I’m speaking as a life-long Democrat. I believe government’s duty is to serve the people – not itself.

  10. Reilleyfam Says:

    Ah yes, Toughlove and Rex sucking each other off – a normal day at CalPension Hater Fantasies.com

  11. SkippingDog Says:

    So Mr. Dickerson, what other contract obligations are we free to ignore because they were made by a previous generation? Are real property contracts fair game? How about bonds? Water rights? How about all that land that was settled under the Homestead Act, one of the biggest government giveaways in our history?

    When you start telling us that some contract obligations can be ignored because they’re inconvenient, it seems only reasonable to ask you where that ends.

  12. SeeSaw Says:

    The 37 Act County Pension System should be reformed, to remove all the egregious spiking practices, that are allowed. The CalPERS system does not allow such spiking practices. The main focus on pension reform, should be to protect the DB pension plans. Start with that–then identify and work, on the sustainability issues, using a lawful process.

  13. SkippingDog Says:

    Here’s a nice analysis of your legal obligations put together by CalPERS, Mr. Dickerson. These obligations are the same for 1937 Act systems, such as that in Mendocino County.

    http://www.calpers.ca.gov/eip-docs/about/press/news/vested-rights.pdf

  14. John Dickerson Says:

    Mendocino County developed a $45 million unfunded pension obligation in 1996 – they borrowed $35 million by selling Pension Bonds. They developed another $85 million unfunded obligation in 2002 – sold another $75 million of Pension Bonds. Very few citizens knew anything about those Bonds – they were snuck through the court with as little noise as possible.

    The unfunded obligation now is back to close to $150 million. This time their credit rating is so bad – and there are several hundred citizens who would raise holy hell if they were to try to sneak another Pension Bond by us – they’ve elected to pay additional UAAL amortization payments – at 8% interest (the target rate of return).

    The County’s laid of 1/4 of its workforce over the past 3 years – their UAAL amortization payments will double their total debt payments in the next 5 years. There’s no way they can avoid laying off an equal number of employees over the next 5 years.

    Our mental health services are almost gone. We have significant periods during the week when there is no uniformed Deputy Sheriff on duty. Just as Sonoma County is doing – they are considering abandoning huge stretches of County roads – let them go back to dirt.

    This stuff is happening all over. The people are finding out about the huge unfunded pension debt as services are slashed and officials try to raise every tax and fee they can find.

    Our County attempted to raise the sales tax 1% for 10 years in the November 2010 election by saying it was necessary “to preserve vital public services during these hard economic times”. They lost 30% yes – 70% no. Jerry Brown won nearly 70% of the vote – half the people who voted for Jerry voted against the tax.

    It was a vote of no confidence in County financial management. It was a vote to not bail out the Pension Fund. It was a statement that without significant financial management and pension reform – there will be no more taxes.

    I managed the No campaign. I and many others would have supported a temporary tax increase – BUT ONLY if it were part of a serious reform proposal that included some restructuring of some of the unfunded pension debt.

    That’s going to be the result in California statewide if there isn’t serious pension reform including the management of public pensions – and a serious look at reducing the overall level of unfunded pensions.

    That’s what happens in bankruptcies.

  15. SeeSaw Says:

    The public sector agencies, are not the only ones, who are having severe economic problems.

    Take a look at all the private sector businesses that have been sinking–can you find a way to blame their troubles, on the public sector workers, and their pensions, too.

    Of course, the Wall Street financial crisis, that brought on a world-wide, economic collapse, was not responsible for any of this–was it.

  16. Captain Says:

    “The 37 Act County Pension System should be reformed, to remove all the egregious spiking practices, that are allowed.”

    The same thing has happened with CalPERS, albeit in a slightly more subtle and artful manner. You should pay attention to what Mr. Dickerson is saying. The extended CalPERS smoothing policy is the only thing separating CalPERS counties & cities from realizing they face the same reality as Mendocino County.

  17. John Dickerson Says:

    The main culprits are elected officials who were responsible for the financial management of our local and state governments. Not all failed to do their duty – but way too many did.

    They didn’t tell us the truth about this debt, they didn’t manage competently and transparently, they wrecked our governments’ finances, and they imposed a hugely unfair debt on our kids.

    This “straw dog” of “you’re blaming public employees” is BS. I’m blaming the people who held their hand out to the public, asked for their vote – said “I’ll take care of your govenrment for you – I’ll improve it and pass it on in better shape than when you entrusted your government to me”.

    Mendocino County employees hired before Sept. 1998 were told they could count on the County providing a good healthcare plan for the rest of their lives after they retire. Hundreds based their retirements in large part on that promise. But the County never put aside one dime for the future – and in fact diverted $40 million out of its underfunded Pension Fund over 20 years to pay for it thereby simply increasing the County’s long-term debt. The County’s policy was that if there weren’t any of these absurd “Excess Earnings” they’d split the cost of health insurance with retirees 50-50.

    So now the County is in a budget crisis – and a couple of years ago declared that when so-called “Pension Fund Excess Earnings” runs out they won’t provide this benefit any more – no more “50-50” promise period.

    All the retirees under Medicare age who could do so have found other insurance. But we’re down to about 100 whose medical conditions – either their’s or their spouse’s – precludes them finding any other insurance. Many of the other retirees report they are paying $1200/month for themselves AND the same for their spouse! Many say their entire monthly pension isn’t enough to make these payments.

    County officials made promises they did next to nothing to be able to keep. And now 100 people are facing severe health problems with no coverage.

    They shouldn’t have been told they’d receive a benefit that County officials did nothing to be able to provide – but they were. EVERY private citizen I’ve talked to – hundreds – from Libertarians through Republicans and Democrats to Greens and Peace and Freedom are deeply offended by this betrayal of employees – and of the public.

    There’s something deeply rotten about how way too many of our governments have mis-managed Our Public Money – and it needs to change.

  18. SeeSaw Says:

    Well, JD, I can empathize, on the health benefits matter–I was promised a stipend, of $532/mo. by my employer, if I earned 25 years service credit. I did, and they followed through–they pay the $532/mo., toward my ABC insurance, which serves, only, as secondary coverage, to Medicare. The ABC premiums went up to $850/mo, each, for me and my spouse–our out-of-pocket costs, for medical insurance premiums, ABC and Medicare, are, $16,000+/yr.

  19. SkippingDog Says:

    It would appear that the recent Ca. Supreme Court opinion in the matter involving retired Orange County employees now before the 9th Circuit federal appellate court will give some clear direction to Mendocino County about its obligation to the retired employees you describe. The county is probably on the hook for all of their health insurance expenses, or at least as much as it was responsible for before the reduction.

    Mendocino County won’t be able to get out from under the obligations is has to its retirees and current employees, so there will be a continual decline in government services and support until the people there agree to an increase in their taxes. You’ve already received the benefit of the labor, so now it’s time to pay for the cost of that consideration.

    Having led the “No” campaign to oppose any revenue increase just means you are nothing more honorable than the scofflaw who eats a nice meal at a restaurant and then attempts to leave without paying the bill. That’s not anything other than theft.

  20. John Dickerson Says:

    Mendocino County achieved less than half its pension funding objectives over the past 2 decades. The Pension Fund was supposed to have $435 million as of the last Valuation. The market value of its deficit was $135 million and the County still owed $85 million for the 2 past Pension Bonds.

    When a former long-time County Supervisor went to sign up for his retirement benefits – he asked the Retirement Administrator “How is this going to work? The Pension Fund’s returns have been less than they were supposed to be over the long run. Disability retirements are nearly the highest percent of all California counties. Where’s the money going to come from to pay all the pensions that are owed?”

    The answer was “It doesn’t matter what we do – the County has to pay the pensions no matter what!”

    The majority of people on the Retirement Board over those years either were receiving or would receive County pensions when they retired. These unfunded pension debts piled up under their watch. Pension benefits were negotiated behind closed doors out of the reach of the Brown Act between union negotiators and people from the County who often stood to personally gain from increased retirement benefits.

    I take no position on what government retirement benefits should be. I absolutely take the position that whatever they are their true costs and debt must be reported to the people and they must be properly funded – including there should be no significant debt passed on to the future.

    The financial reporting of these obligations has been essentially fraudulent for decades. My County has well over $200 million of debt caused by unfunded pensions – and every dime was created by past pension promises the expense of which has never been reported to the people. The new GASB rules that will be imposed next summer are going to change that – and the result will be a huge political backlash against local and state officials.

    The more you express disdain for “normal citizens” who feel somehow ripped off – the more you drive moderates and frustrated progressives into the arms of Californians for Pension Reform.

    If there is real reform in how Our Public Money is managed and reported – and if there is real reform in public retirement benefits – including an honest look at whether we have already promised more than will be delivered – a tax increase would pass.

    It is dead on arrival without reform. You say I’m a thief for not supporting a tax increase. Are you a con-artist for supporting one?

  21. SeeSaw Says:

    Captain, I would compare the CalPERS smoothing policy, to a mortgage refinance–something to make the payments easier to handle, for the payer. There is no comparison, between smoothing and pension spiking.

  22. John Dickerson Says:

    It makes the payments easier to handle by pushing more and more debt off to the future.

  23. SeeSaw Says:

    You should not accuse the principals, who participated in the CB process, of violating the Brown Act. The pension negotiations, were most likely conducted, in a closed meeting. When agreement was reached, between the bargaining representatives, it would have been formulated, into an item and staff report, to be placed on the Agenda, of the next, regularly scheduled, public Board Meeting, for the purpose, of the Board’s consideration and vote, on whether or not, to ratify the Agreement.

  24. SeeSaw Says:

    True, JD–but it is something done, for the purpose of helping, rather than destroying.

  25. SkippingDog Says:

    No, Mr. Dickerson. I said only a thief would take something and then attempt to leave without paying for it. That’s not a con at all, and you’re the only one who knows your true motives.

    Regardless of that little exchange, I’d ask you how many years the Mendocino County Supervisors did not make their required annual contribution to the pension system because it was “super funded” or they were enjoying a payment holiday? I suspect that’s where you’ll find your culprit.

    Now comes the time to pay the bill.

  26. SkippingDog Says:

    I just looked at the most recent annual report for Mendocino County and it shows that your pension system is more than 80% funded. That’s good by any measure.

    Your pre-medicare health insurance costs are driven up by the small size of your risk pool, with only about 630 retired employees participating in the plan. Having had a 12% plus increase in my own health costs this year, I understand your concern.

    OTOH, this kind of thing is exactly what the Affordable Care Act is supposed to address when the insurance exchanges are up and running. That’s the path out of your insurance problems in a small county.

  27. John Dickerson Says:

    50% of Mendocino County’s pension debt was caused by sub-target earnings. 25% was caused by diversions of money out of the underfunded Pension Fund to pay retiree healthcare. About 8% was caused by each of 2 factors – a much higher rate of disability retirements than projected and several years of much higher rates of salary increases than the Actuary was told. The thing you suggested – County contributions less than the Actuary specified in a couple of years – created about 4% – and a whole bunch of smaller factors created the rest.

    The reality is people outside government in Mendocino County all across the political spectrum feel like a “fast one” was pulled on them. As a leading Green said to me “I thought we had to vote on Bonds that big (refering to Pension Obligation Bonds).” Well – no, those Bonds are sold without submitting them to a vote of the people because of a judicially created exception to the state consitution.

    It’s time for some to learn that the people should be told the truth.

  28. Captain Says:

    “Captain, I would compare the CalPERS smoothing policy, to a mortgage refinance–something to make the payments easier to handle, for the payer. There is no comparison, between smoothing and pension spiking.”

    I wouldn’t. I’d compare it to the actions of a desperate and corrupt organization hell-bent on keeping taxpayer’s on the hook for guaranteeing a 7.75% rate of return on the assets they do have while charging the taxpayer a 7.75% interest rate on the unfunded liability – the money they don’t have!

    The main difference between the chaos experienced by 37 ACT pension plans and CalPERS is the smoothing policy. In 2005, Calpers increased their smoothing policy from 3 to 15 years. In 2009-10 they smoothed the 2007-09 market losses (at least the majority of those losses) over 30 years. That’s the equivalent of purchasing a Ford Escort and financing it over three years, increasing the payment terms to 15 years because you can’t afford the payments, and then refinancing the unaffordable maintenance costs over 30 years, for a car that only lasts 10 years at best.

    Do you understand that at some point you are paying for two cars, or maybe three cars, because you never actually paid for the first car – because you’re only deferring the debt?

    What’s that old song my mom & grandma sang .. Something about Humpty Dumpty and a great fall…I think

  29. SeeSaw Says:

    Worry wort?

  30. Bain Dramage Says:

    Well, I sure hope they do something.

  31. Tough Love Says:

    Replying to John Dickerson, The Taxpayers are ALREADY past the breaking point and have no intention of funding these absurdly generous Plans.

    Why should they …. so Civil Servant can retire 10-20 years earlier and with 2, 4, even 6 times what they get?

    Not a chance.

  32. SeeSaw Says:

    So, you’re going to hold back a portion, of your tax bill, TL? In CA, all such action would get you, would be a penalty, that you could add, to your overdue portion. Then, if you kept that up, you would, eventually, see a lien on your home.

  33. Tough Love Says:

    Quoting Skipping Dog …”I just looked at the most recent annual report for Mendocino County and it shows that your pension system is more than 80% funded. That’s good by any measure.”

    I’m surprised you too are falling for this crap. 80% is marginal at best, and then only IF the assumptions for discounting Plan Liabilities are appropriate and reasonable … and we both know that the interest rate used is WAY too high and therefore unreasonable.

    As to the 80% …….. under Private Sector Plan rules (which are MUCH more conservative than the GASB rules used by Public Sector Plans), 80% is consider sufficiently POOR to implement certain Plan restrictions.

    The funded ratio applied ONLY to pension accruals for PAST service. The goal should always be to be paid-up (on a Present Value basis) for accruals earned to date …. which means 100% is the appropriate goal.

    By-the way …. you’ve got a serous case of denial when it comes to promised pensions & benefits being fully paid.

  34. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    SkippingDog Says:
    December 6, 2011 at 1:00 am
    It would appear that the recent Ca. Supreme Court opinion in the matter involving retired Orange County employees now before the 9th Circuit federal appellate court will give some clear direction to Mendocino County about its obligation to the retired employees you describe.

    Just to correct Skippy, the OC healthcare case is NOT before the 9th Circuit court of appeals. Do you make these things up on the fly or are you just misinformed?

  35. Tough Love Says:

    Quoting Captain …”I wouldn’t. I’d compare it to the actions of a desperate and corrupt organization hell-bent on keeping taxpayer’s on the hook for guaranteeing a 7.75% rate of return on the assets they do have while charging the taxpayer a 7.75% interest rate on the unfunded liability – the money they don’t have!”

    Perfectly stated !

  36. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    The main difference between the chaos experienced by 37 ACT pension plans and CalPERS is the smoothing policy. In 2005, Calpers increased their smoothing policy from 3 to 15 years. In 2009-10 they smoothed the 2007-09 market losses (at least the majority of those losses) over 30 years. That’s the equivalent of purchasing a Ford Escort and financing it over three years, increasing the payment terms to 15 years because you can’t afford the payments, and then refinancing the unaffordable maintenance costs over 30 years, for a car that only lasts 10 years at best.

    That is exactly what they are doing Captain. And it is fraud.

    Jerry Clowns pension tax hikes are not going to fly. The jig is up, like our Medocinio friend states, the public ic not going top pay for HS educated cops (and others) to retire with 6 figure pensions worth $10 million whilel they work until age 80 with an annual $12K SS payment……every major tax hike in the last 4years has failed, and they are failing by larger and larger margins (2,3 and even 4-1), and the claims of choas if they don’t pass get bigger, and bigger and biggggggger with every new attempt.

    Either pensions get truly reformed, or it is Rhode Island time.

  37. Tough Love Says:

    No Seesaw, Those that stay will pay their taxes (though many will leave), but as services drop and public ire rises, eventually your Democratic compadres in crime will realize they are better off aligned with the 85% of voters who aren’t Civil Servants.

    At that point you’ll be thrown to the wolves … or is that “under the bus”.

  38. SeeSaw Says:

    JB is not proposing a pension tax hike. He is proposing a half-cent, sales tax hike, to be used, specifically, to fund education. It flies with me, Rex. We’ll just have, to wait and see, if there are more “You”, or more, “Me”, voters, in CA.

  39. SeeSaw Says:

    I am not involved in any criminal activity, TL. My former work colleagues, have no intention of throwing me, or anyone, under any bus.

  40. Captain Says:

    TL, Mendocino is probably not even 80% funded even though they have sold over 105 million in pension obligation bonds to cover their debt, which isn’t included in their pensions plans calculation. Mr. Dickerson mentioned something about how healthcare funding was covered based on excess pension returns. When I looked at what Mendocino was doing it looked to me like returns in excess of the target rate of return were transferred to the retiree medical fund. Didn’t seem to matter that the pension fund was severely under funded – just that they exceeded the target rate in a given year.

    It reminds me of what happened in San Jose. During down years the contribution rate increased. During years the pension fund exceeded the target rate they had a formula that provided retiree’s a “thirteenth pension check”. This occurred even though the pension system was under funded.

    CalPERS just smoothes the debt while denying there’s a problem hoping taxpayers won’t notice the increased cost. At this point it’s kind of like the kid with fudge all over his face denying he ate your Hot Fudge Sunday. CalPERS is a BIG part of the problem! CalPERS management is a BIG part of the problem. The CalPERS B.O.D is a BIG part of the problem.

  41. John Dickerson Says:

    SkipperDog – the last Actuarial Valuation (6/20) showed a $86.5 million UAAL and an 80% funding level. But that was based on a 5 year smoothing. The actual market value of assets was $50 million less than the smoothed value. On a market value basis the Net Pension Liability was $135 million. That was slightly less than a 70% funding ratio.

    (Incidentally – at this point after being in process for 5 years the new GASB rules are almost certain to require the Net Pension Liabililty to be listed on government Balance Sheets based on the market value of assets – not smoothed value.)

    BUT – at that point the County still owed $85 million on Pension Obligation Bonds. From the point of view of the people of the County our debt is the $135 million market value deficit + the $85 million POB balance = $220 million. The Fund was supposed to have had $435 million – so We the People’s debt was slightly more than half the amount the Fund was supposed to have according to the last 20 years of Actuarial Valuations (which are also pension financing plans).

    From the public’s point of view – the funding ratio achieved by the Pension Fund is less than 50%!

    Further – most people don’t seem to get that the “target return” is NOT the target rate of return applied to the money the Pension Fund has to invest. The Actuary discounts the part of future pension payments that have already been earned back to their present value using the target rate as the discount rate. That means that the amount the Fund is supposed to earn is the target rate applied to the Actuarially Accrued Liability – NOT the actual amount of money the Fund has to invest.

    So – in Mendocino County’s case – the FUnd is $135 million short. It can’t earn its 8% target return on investment on that amount because it can’t earn returns on money it doesn’t have. So – right there – even if the FUnd earns its target rate on investments – we’re still nearly $11 million short of the amount the Fund needed to earn in order to not fall farther behind.

  42. John Dickerson Says:

    Good Lord – what are all us people doing up arguing about this stuff at 5:27 in the morning!!!

  43. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    SeeSaw Says:
    December 5, 2011 at 11:13 pm
    The public sector agencies, are not the only ones, who are having severe economic problems.

    Take a look at all the private sector businesses that have been sinking–can you find a way to blame their troubles, on the public sector workers, and their pensions, too.

    “Sawz” ( is that one of your sock puppets seesaw??), the taxpayers DO NOT have to pay for private sector compaines that are mismanaged like government is.

    See the diffence😛

  44. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    SeeSaw Says:
    December 6, 2011 at 5:14 am
    JB is not proposing a pension tax hike. He is proposing a half-cent, sales tax hike, to be used, specifically, to fund education.

    No seesaw, it is a PENSION tax, not an education tax.

    K-12 Education ALREADY gets over half the general fund budget-ALREADY.

    I guess you never heard of Prop 98-try Googling it, you may learn a thing or two about funding for education, which BTW 90% of which goes straight to teacher compensation, so education today is really teacher compensation, one and the same.

    Man, I hate being right all the time😛

  45. Tough Love Says:

    Seesaw … you takes my words way too literally … you should get out more often.

  46. Tough Love Says:

    So Captain, No surprise here .

    It’s ALWAYS been ….HEADS the Public Sector workers win, and TAILS , the Taxpayers lose.

  47. SeeSaw Says:

    Rex, if the new education tax is passed, it is going to provide the Prop. 98 money, that the State can’t seem to pay; that would then leave other revenue available, to cover the shortfalls, for all the other services, that the State provides. It sounds good to me–I am probably going to be on board.

  48. SeeSaw Says:

    Yes, Rex. That screen name, with Disqus, on the Bee, was registered before I was ever, SeeSaw. My original screen name was, SAW, and I couldn’t get it on Disqus, because it was already registered. So when I went on the OCR, I chose, SeeSaw, because I don’t like SAWZ. Its too much to go through, to change it.

    No, I don’t agree with you. It takes people with money to spend, in both the private and public sectors. It really doesn’t matter, whether you are buying services, or buying groceries. The private entities and the public entities are all in the financial abyss, for the same reason–Wall Street’s corruption, culminating in Sept. 2008. Don’t tell me that all the people affected by all of it, are not, all, taxpayers.

  49. SeeSaw Says:

    JD, I have noticed–the time evidently precedes us, by about ten hours.

  50. John Dickerson Says:

    well – then can we get the opening bids on the NYSE 10 hours before it really happens?!?

    We’ll all be saved!!!

  51. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Well it is 11:45 PM as I post this….lets see what the time stamp says…….

  52. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Yes, 8 hours ahead of the post……….

  53. Theodore Steele IV, Associate Justice Says:

    I have to agree with Seesaw and the others—- education is a wise investment. I will be way on-board the Gov’s plan…..I think he’s doing a great job. People are funny—– certain people always complain about government….always have! Basically– when the economy is down, people, like crabs, like to drag any crabs they can back into the pot! Sorta sad.

    They like to talk but almost never back anything up….(a few good posters out here though)….For instance…..the poodle likes to assert things but you’ll never see ANY legal citation made for any legal position he takes….here is the score so far—

    1. He was blown out of the water predicting the OC cops would lose the pension lawsuit–shot off his mouth for a year and NEVER cited any case!

    2.Still can’t produce any case authority abrogating the state or Fed contracts clause on this issue, but constantly shoots his mouth off….zzzzzzz

    3. Still can’t produce ANY statutory or case authority for his whacky fraud theory discharging contractual obligations…zzzz

    And so it goes……….blog on my little troll friends!

  54. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    I say bring on the pension taxes, they are DOA. and once they get blown out of the water, by a 2-1 or 3-1 margin, we will see Jerry Clown and his puppets try to (Teddy) STEAL from us in the next election. But the (Teddy) STEAL won’t work, the public is onto the scam.

  55. Theodore Steele IV, Associate Justice Says:

    Exhibit one— the above post—— still unable to cite authority……lol

  56. John Dickerson Says:

    OK – I admit I see these things through the lens of the 1937 County Employee Retirement Law (CERL) because my focus has been on my County’s pension debt. Twenty one counties have their own independent retirement systems – they don’t participate in CalPERS.

    2 ½ years ago I told the County Board of Supervisors that even if their policy regarding the use of so-called (absurd) Excess Earnings technically conformed to the law, my analysis of the Retirement Association’s financial statements led me to conclude there weren’t enough Excess Earnings as defined in CERL to have funded all the healthcare payments made in the past decade – they were about $10 million short. I asked the BOS to require the Retirement Association to produce a report showing how retiree healthcare had been funded over the past decade.

    As usual – the BOS did nothing. However a reformist member of the Retirement Board did demand such a report. Long story short – the former Retirement Administrator (and the elected County Treasurer!) reported that when they entered 2004 “there were no Excess Earnings but we had health insurance we had to pay”. So – they directly diverted over $6 million from the County’s annual normal contributions to the Pension Fund during 2004 – 2006. Then in 2006 their Actuary supposedly said “Oops – we may be violating CERL” – so the Retirement Association “paid the County back”.

    But they still didn’t have any usable Excess Earnings according to CERL’s definition – so they took an additional $3.5 million out of the underfunded Pension Fund to pay more retiree healthcare – but the former Administrator assured everyone the Fund had also been “paid back”.

    “With what?” I asked. “You spent the money – it’s gone.”

    Long story short – they gave the County “credit” for not only making their full contributions to the Pension Fund in those years – but they had to leave the $6.1 million credit for paying retiree healthcare on the books or else they’d be out of balance.

    So – the Retirement Association “paid the County and the Pension Fund back” by setting up a $9.6 million receivable as an asset on their books titled “Actuarial Value of Unrecognized Earnings” in 2006 – and it sat there until last summer when the Retirement Association wrote it off as worthless.

    That account was a claim against future Excess Earnings if and when they may ever occur. It was air – it satisfies no definition of an asset I’m familiar with (and I know this stuff).

    So – now we have what very much looks like a smoking gun that several significant legal requirements were violated.

    The County BOS won’t do anything. I asked the State Controller’s Office to investigate – they didn’t want to get involved because – I was told – they didn’t want to get involved in a “political argument”. I took the issue to our County’s DA – he didn’t want to get involved because he has a “conflict of interest” because he’ll get a county pension someday. He sent it to the Attorney General’s office – no response.

    I’ve heard numerous similar stories from dozens of other people in the Bay Area and North Coast. While I think what happened in my County is particularly egregious – it differs in degree – not in kind – from dozens of other local governments.

    So – PART of my reaction when I hear you guys say “there’s no real problem” or “it’s all Wall Street’s fault” or “this is just an attack on public employees” – or “you have a legal obligation and you have to pay it so there!” is – I KNOW what happened here and you don’t want to deal with it. Your pre-conceived ideology blinds you – you can’t see this crap.

    And “liberals” and “progressives” whose identity is not within government – in fact many of them who have had a habit of being critical of government their entire lives – see this stuff and it makes them very angry. And then they hear from folks “like you” appearing to deny this level of problem – and it makes them even more angry.

    That’s one of several major reasons why if serious reform – not just financial but governance and oversight as well – isn’t done, all the tax measures on the ballot next November will fail – big time.

    I’ve analyzed finances all my life. You can’t say Jerry’s tax will only go to education. Because money the state would have spent on education would then be available for other things – such as paying unfunded pension obligations. And – since unfunded pension payments are reported as part of employee compensation – the new tax money would explicitly be going to pay down the unfunded pensions.

  57. SeeSaw Says:

    JD, I have never denied that the plans have sustainability problems, nor have I stated that, just because the problem was mainly someone else’s fault, it should be ignored. One has to put their trust somewhere, or just sit there, and fret, fret, fret. And, I make no mistake, about it–these anti-pension articles by pundits, and edititorials writers, have been doing quite a hit job on public employees, since the Wall Street, debacle–some other group has to be scapegoated, to take the spotight, off the real perpetrators. If you want to take a break from fretting, go out and rent a copy, of the documentary film, “Inside Job”–better yet, watch it, and pair it with the, just released, fictional movie, “Margin Call”.

  58. Theodore Steele IV, Associate Justice Says:

    “sustainability problems” ?——better yet—- go to Calpers responds—- it is loaded with solid public record info albeit CERL..

  59. SkippingDog Says:

    Don’t you even bother to read the actual stories in the OCR anymore, Rex.

    From Nov. 21, 2011:

    http://taxdollars.ocregister.com/2011/11/21/retiree-medical-benefits-fight-heads-back-to-court/136563/

    The California Supreme Court found that there could be an implied contract that protects post-retiree benefits. Whether or not there is such a contract is a matter that is back before the 9th Circuit now.

    There’s nothing Rex posts that can be considered the least bit accurate or trustworthy.

  60. Theodore Steele IV, Associate Justice Says:

    Skipper— you are correct sir!

  61. SkippingDog Says:

    Hi, TL. I appreciate your concern, but I’m one of those fortunate people who belong to a public pension system that is stable and well-funded.

    When you accuse me of being in denial about the payment of pension obligations, what you’re really claiming is that our country’s long standing protection of contract rights will not withstand current events. I don’t share that view with you, and it is not historically accurate.

    If we reach a point were legally contracted and mature pension obligations are no longer protected by state and federal constitutional law, you will have long lost your own property rights and we will be living in a much different country than the one we have now.

    One of the reasons I continue to read and participate in these posts is my continuing amazement at how many otherwise apparently sane people so easily predict or accept what can only be considered far-fetched and apocalyptic visions about where we are headed as people and as a country. I’m also amused by how quickly those with a libertarian bent want to violate their own stated principles and attempt to seize or diminish my own property, and how seldom that fact interferes with their fevered thinking about pension obligations.

  62. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    December 6, 2011 at 6:55 pm
    “sustainability problems” ?——better yet—- go to
    Calpers responds—- it is loaded with solid public record info albeit CERL..”

    LOL…Teddy Steals with mre comedy!~ herelet me fix this;

    “go to CalTURDS responds—- it is loaded with tons of garbage from public unions and is not worth the paper it is printed on…..”
    Fixed😛

  63. SeeSaw Says:

    Rex, its time you weined yourself from being a pup to being an adult dog. No more toilet humor! “CalPERS”, is the name of the Plan. It does not hurt to read, “CalPERS”, responds.

    I listen to Rush, and Ken, and John–in very small doses. Its good to be aware of all the rhetoric out there, and be able to determine, for one’s self, the difference between the truth, and the lies.

  64. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Rex, its time you weined yourself from being a pup to being an adult dog. No more toilet humor! “CalPERS”, is the name of the Plan. It does not hurt to read, “CalPERS”, responds.

    “CalTURDS Responds” and their whopper lies belong in the toilet😛

    Like TL said seesaw, you need to lighten up a bit, really, you are no fun when you’re cranky

  65. John Dickerson Says:

    Just read a piece I think exactly expresses the situation:


    Municipal governments in the U.S. are in a precarious financial situation. Tepid economic growth combined with changes in state aid signal continued revenue weakness. The cost of meeting pension and healthcare obligations is crowding out key services and necessary investments in infrastructure. Bankruptcy is increasingly being seen as an option, but states are moving to curtail the ability of municipalities pursue a chapter 9 bankruptcy filing. In the face of these challenges restructurings (both in and out of court) are inevitable; and continued efforts to deny this will only increase the severity and duration of those restructurings when they do come.

    I have noted before that my favorite aspect of distressed situations is that in the end, reality must be acknowledged. Creditors to local governments can tell themselves whatever story they want about the primacy of their claims, the ability of local governments to tax their way to prosperity, the ability of states to bail out governments, etc. In the end those are just comforting stories. The reality is that municipal governments across the country are stretched. Revenues are down and painful cost cutting is the order of the day. States that may lack the financial wherewithal to bailout their cities are nonetheless interfering with legislation that does nothing to change facts on the ground. Pension and healthcare costs are increasing and absent bankruptcy there is no good tool for addressing those costs. Widespread municipal distress will happen because we are simply out of options; delay will only worsen the inevitable pain.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/municipal-distress-slow-moving-but-inevitable-2011-12#ixzz1fnAFwTEW

  66. Theodore Steele IV,Adjunct Profesor Says:

    Hey Poodle! Here’s another assignment—–

    Go to Calpers responds and find me proof of one wrong fact there– be sure to have a citation for your conclusion.

    …and you still owe me homework on the other 3—- lol– or did you forget?

  67. Captain Says:

    “Brown was particularly bothered by a contention in a report by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System that closing the existing defined benefit plan to new employees “would threaten its actuarial soundness.’’

    “Well, that tells you you’ve got a Ponzi scheme, because you have to keep bringing in new members and the current system itself is not in a sustainable position,’’ Brown said.”

    The CalPERS document the Governor was probably referencing (page 5 of 16, bottom right hand corner): http://www.calpers.ca.gov/eip-docs/preliminary-analysis.pdf

    “closing the existing defined benefit plan to new employees “would threaten its actuarial soundness.’’

    That is the most honest statement coming from CalPERS since their former Chief Actuary, Ron Seeling, said that, in his opinion, the CalPERS DB plan was unsustainable.

  68. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    “closing the existing defined benefit plan to new employees “would threaten its actuarial soundness.’’

    That is the most honest statement coming from CalPERS since their former Chief Actuary, Ron Seeling, said that, in his opinion, the CalPERS DB plan was unsustainable.

    If that IS true then it IS a ponzi scheme.

    Current earnings and contributions from DB members should pull their OWN weight.

  69. SeeSaw Says:

    All media and right wingers, who repeat the statement, of Rod Seeling, regarding the looming unsustainability, of CalPERS, have done so, by cutting off the last words, of his statement, which were, “unless we do something”. He is responsible for the CalPERS, smoothing policy.

  70. SeeSaw Says:

    Who wasn’t looking at unsustainability, at that time, Rex. CalPERS had just lost a hundred billions dollars, of its portfolio, due to the bursting, housing bubble, which was part of the global, economic collapse, of Sept. 08. I dare you, to find one pension plan, one public enity, one bank, or one private sector business, that did not abruptly fall, on hard times, after all the factories were closed, during the Bush Administration, and Wall Street added the cherry, when it committed the housing fraud.

  71. Captain Says:

    Myth: The State of California and taxpayers pay the total cost of public pensions.

    Fact:
    Investment earnings pay the majority of the costs of public pensions. For every dollar paid in pensions, 64 cents comes from investments.

    Public employees pay for pensions as well. Each month State employees contribute a percentage of their paychecks toward their pension. Through agreements so far, State employees are paying 2-5 percent more out of their paychecks toward pensions for a total of 8-10 percent each month. This has saved California up to $400 million. In addition, more than 175 local governments have decreased pensions for new hires.

    SeeSaw, Theodore, I don’t suppose either of you see any issue with yet another half truth forwarded by CalPERS, do you? I guess I should be happy that CalPERS has removed their claim that all members contribute to their retirement. As I’ve stated before, not only does my city NOT require ANY contribution from the employees, they also allow the employees to count the “Employee Pick-up” toward final year compensation for the sake of calculating pension payouts. How that works:

    -100k compensation
    -City pays 34 percent pension contribution
    -City pays the employee 9% pension contribution (total cost of payroll of 43%)

    -Employee pension is based on 100K + the 9% the city pays on the employee’s behalf for a total final year compensation number of 109K.

    – For public safety, because they were gifted retroactive pension benefits, they recieve 90% for 30 years, of the 109K (while only actually earning 100K).

    – First year of retirement pays this 100K per year PS employee (the number is actually much higher) $98,100, or 98.1% of their 100K salary. By year 2 of retirement they are already making more than any year during their 30 year career, as early as age 50, with lifetime medical.

    “State employees are paying 2-5 percent more out of their paychecks toward pensions for a total of 8-10 percent each month.This has saved California up to $400 million .”

    – Got to love these creative CalPERS minds that keep spewing half truths and mis-leading information. CalPERS may be correct that this saves taxpayers 400 million but what they don’t say is that pension costs increased by 600 million. My city made the same claim about savings during current employee negotiations. The citizens challenged the numbers and the city was forced to admit their savings projections were completely offset, and then some, by rapidly rising pension costs.

    As the pension actuary that presented at a city council meeting recently said, the pension costs will continue to rise for years to come. In response to a question from a council member regarding increasing the payments beyond what Calpers is charging, he said, despite your best efforts in that regard you don’t have any control over CalPers, or their investment returns (or lack thereof).

  72. Captain Says:

    This is from CalPERS responds:

    “Myth: The State of California and taxpayers pay the total cost of public pensions.

    Fact:
    Investment earnings pay the majority of the costs of public pensions. For every dollar paid in pensions, 64 cents comes from investments.

    Public employees pay for pensions as well. Each month State employees contribute a percentage of their paychecks toward their pension. Through agreements so far, State employees are paying 2-5 percent more out of their paychecks toward pensions for a total of 8-10 percent each month. This has saved California up to $400 million. ”

    Neglected to mention that in the previous post.

  73. SeeSaw Says:

    Politicians make wierd statements, sometimes. Imagine the Republican, front runner, for the office of POTUS, making public statements, that our child labor laws are stupid; that the schools’ should fire the union janitors, and assign the school children, to empty the trash, and clean the toilets!

    So, now, along comes Brown, and he refers, to CalPERS, as a ponzie scheme! I have a copy, of the Amicus Brief that Brown, CA’s AG at the time, presented to the Appeals Court, in support of the OC Deputy Sheriffs, and on behalf, of the members, of CalPERS. That Brief gives a history, of the defined benefit pension systems, in CA, and it extolls the virtues of such plans, including the fact that it was standard, for the CA Legislature, to adopt all pension enhancements, throughout the 97-year history, of the DB systems, retroactively.

    In Brown’s 12-point plan, he refers to the practice of retroactively, upgrading pensions formulas, as irresponsible practice. I have written him a letter, calling his remarks in that Amicus Brief, to his attention.

  74. SeeSaw Says:

    The CalPERS statement, is technically correct. There is a percentage requirement from the employer, and a percentage requirement from the employee. In some cases, the employee’s percentage is paid by the employer, as a bargained fringe benefit, instead of being paid, as part of cash salary. There is a CalPERS statement, that comes to each active member, every year, that itemizes the amount, that has been deposited by the employee, whether it was actually made by the employee, or the employer. You hard heads, do not understrand, that it is cheaper for the employer, in the long run, to pay the employee’s share. It keeps the base salary, amount down, resulting in a lower retirment amount–unless one works for a particular entity, in right-wing San Diego County, that has contracted with CalPERS, to include the employer-paid amount, in the final salary, for retirement calculation. (That is egreious spiking, in my view–it did not occur at my entity.)

  75. Tough Love Says:

    SeeSaw,

    You re-define the definition of “thick skull”

  76. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Seesaw is just mad bcause we keep shooting down her and Teddy Steals whoppers.

  77. Captain Says:

    “Politicians make wierd statements, sometimes. Imagine the Republican, front runner, for the office of POTUS, making public statements, that our child labor laws are stupid; that the schools’ should fire the union janitors, and assign the school children, to empty the trash, and clean the toilets!

    So, now, along comes Brown, and he refers, to CalPERS, as a ponzie scheme!”

    Really, SeeSaw. The govrernor refered to CalPERS as a Ponzi Scheme based on CalPERS own comments and you begin talking rubish. Weak!

    I would encourage you to at least consider some of the comments on this thread. I won’t expect you to agree with the opposing view – just consider it.

  78. spension Says:

    Wow, look at the cost of the judges retirement, goodness! JRS and LRS.

    That new employees contribution stabilize the system from an actuarial viewpoint does not mean the system is a Ponzi scheme at all… you get to extend the # years of averaging when the system has a long-term steady state, and so the standard deviation can go down… less risk!

    However, our CalXXXX systems messed up big time and over promised benefits; they should have promised -2 standard deviations from the average. Probably about 1/2 way in between the Stanford risk-free rate and the rate they assumed.

    The consequences are extreme, however. Sovereign Default here we come!

  79. SeeSaw Says:

    What statements of mine have you shot down, with what documentation, Rex? You are in the habit of yelping opinions, with no facts to back your wimpering up!

  80. SeeSaw Says:

    How so, TL? Every statement I have made is factual.

  81. SeeSaw Says:

    Captain,

    Jerry Brown listened to CalPERS make its report, and then he said, it is a Ponzi Scheme. CalPERS is not a Ponzie Scheme, in my opinion, because there is something, at the end of the line, for the members, to collect. There is nothing to collect, at the end, of the line, in a Ponzi Scheme. The point that I was trying to make, regarding Jerry’s remarks on this issue was, that he has been talking out, of both sides, of his mouth, over the course, of the past two years. He has extolled the DB pension systems, in everything else, he has voiced and written. My judgment of his actions and words, in this situation, does not mean, that I don’t support him.

    No way, am I talking rubbish–just reporting anecdotes. (Its in the eye of the beholder, I guess.)

    I do read, and consider, the arguments of others, on these threads. I do not agree with your view, that CalPERS is a corrupt organization. Knowing about some of the scenarios and schemes of some past Board Members of CalPERS, I have taken time, to think about, what I think.

    If I happen to see statements, from other posters, that I know to be false, I usually respond with, what I know, are facts. I don’t have to do this. I have been retired for four years. I will continue, to do my part, to help see that CalPERS is saved, as a DB Plan, for all current and future members.

  82. Captain Says:

    Thanks for the comments SeeSaw. I understand you believe in CalPERS and feel compelled to defend their actions. I respect you for that. I, however, do not believe CalPERS is serving anyone. I guess we’ll just continue to disagree, hopefully with the understanding that we can do so in an adult manner. But make no mistake, I think CalPERS is a big part of the problem and that goes double for their B.O.D.

  83. Captain Says:

    “The fact sheet (CalPERS) said the California Public Employees Retirement System, which covers about half of all non-federal government workers in the state, was about 75 percent funded as of last June 30 with an unfunded liability of $85-90 billion.”

    Nonsense. As of June 30, 2011 the MVA numbers (CalPERS says the MVA numbers are the best measure of the plans soundness) were less than 70% in spite of returns 13.3% and 20.7% over the past two years. Their current MVA, as of 12-2-2011, is about 63.5% – Life Support in pension jargon.

  84. Captain Says:

    From this article (and CalPers Responds): ““The fact sheet gave this breakdown of the sources of the typical CalPERS dollar: investment earnings 66 cents (historically as high as 75 cents), employers 21 cents, and employees 13 cents.”

    I keep seeing this repeated and I don’t understand why. What CalPERS claims is that every dollar they payout….but, of course, they only payout with dollars they have. CalPERS is only telling us a STORY about the dollars they DO have while ignoring the cost of the dollars they do NOT have. Put another way, and I spent time approximating the current CalPERS Market Value of Assets, the above CalPERS scenario gets a transparency grade: F. Based on the current 225.8 billion in assets, which represents an alarming funding level of 63.5%, a different interpretation of the CalPERS/Taxpayer dollar goes something like this:

    – The CalPers assets for current obligations only consists of 63.5 cents on the dollar
    – The taxpayers owe the other 36.5 cents on the CalPERS dollar for past service.
    – 66% of investment earnings shrinks to 42 cents when multiplied by the 63.5%
    – employer contributions of 21 cents shrinks to 13 cents on the dollar.
    – employee contributions of 13 cents shrinks to 8 cents on the dollar.

    So, what does the CalPERS/Taxpayer obligation look like expressed as a dollar:

    – 8 cents contributed by employees (in many cases the employer pays part of that)
    – 42 cents in investment earnings
    – 13 cents in employer/taxpayer contributions
    – 37 cents in employer/taxpayer debt
    =100 cents. That is the real CalPERS buck.

    Looks like the taxpayer is contributing 50 cents on the dollar – if we ignore that taxpayers are a paying a portion of the employee contribution. Somewhere in this CalPERS scenario/assumption the billions in Pension Obligation Bonds paid to cover unfunded liabilities seems to be missing. Those costs are 100% paid by the taxpayer.

    If you don’t believe the Governor’s statement that CalPERS is a Ponzi Scheme, maybe you can at least see how this is a bad deal for taxpayers/counties/cities/the state/taxpayers.

  85. Tough Love Says:

    OK Seesaw, here a chance to redeem yourself…. if you actually answer the following …. and not refuse to respond or go off on some unrelated tangent (such as wall street being the cause of all our problems, that movie you want everyone to see, or that Private sector pensions should be raised to the level of Public sector Plans):

    Most logical thinkers will agree that equal “total compensation” (cash pay + pensions + benefits) in the Public and Private sectors is an appropriate “goal”. And, most studies suggest “cash pay” in the public and Private sector is very close. Then to meet that reasonable “goal”, pensions and benefits also need to be VERY CLOSE.

    But ….. every serious student of this subject know that the taxpayer paid-for share of public sector pensions are ROUTINELY 2, 4, even 6 times (for safety workers) greater in value at retirement than the pensions granted comparably paid Private sector workers retiring at the SAME age and with the SAME years of service.

    And ….. all employee contributions (WITH investment earnings) accumulated to the date of retirement RARELY exceed an amount sufficient to purchase more than 10-20% of their pension …. with the 80-90% balance paid for by taxpayer contributions (and the investment earnings thereon).

    So to quickly summarize ….. with equal “total compensation” as the goal, and with very close “cash pay”, Public Sector pensions are 2-6 times greater than their Private sector counterparts and with Taxpayers (85% of whom are NOT public Sector workers) paying for 80-90% of Public Sector pensions.

    Under what distorted sense of reality can this be justified ?

  86. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    That new employees contribution stabilize the system from an actuarial viewpoint does not mean the system is a Ponzi scheme at all…

    They should NOT need new people to stablilize the system, the ROI and contributiuons of present members SHOULD be enopugh, otherwise it is a ponzi scheme.

    I agree with you that if CalTURDS had NOT passed Sb400 and other bogus scams we would not need to do anything and the system would eb working fine, but they lied and the fraud sunk them.

  87. Tough Love Says:

    Rex, you’re correct, but ending a DB Plan of new participants does cause one problem that’s unavoidable. That is, a shrinking duration lifetime and hence investment duration.

    The combination of a declining Plan lifetime and the need to reasonably “match” asset and liability “durations” (to meet cash flow needs as they come due) has an overall negative impact on investment returns … and it worsens steadily until the last Plan participant dies.

  88. Theodore Steele IV,Adjunct Profesor Says:

    my God this is a never ending dull-normal rehash of 11 other incorrect and partially correct things found elsewhere….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz——

    let the sleepy quasi debate roll on !!

  89. Captain Says:

    “Theodore Steele IV,Adjunct Profesor Says:
    December 7, 2011 at 6:10 am
    my God this is a never ending dull-normal rehash of 11 other incorrect and partially correct things found elsewhere….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz——

    let the sleepy quasi debate roll on !!”

    If you have nothing to contribute why contribute nothing. Theodore, I would love to hear your analysis of the many comments that have been made here today. If you aren’t capable of responding maybe you can send these comments to “CalPERS Responds” and they can formulate an intelligent response that you can regurgitate.

    Until then, why don’t you try to present an intelligent argument of your own.

  90. Tough Love Says:

    Theodore Steele,

    Why don’t you just GO AWAY ?

    Trust me …. NOBODY will miss your absence.

  91. SeeSaw Says:

    Captain and TL:

    CalPERS is my bread and butter. I never sat around and dissected the details, of the Plan, when I was an active employee, and I would drive myself crazy, if I did that, now. The Plan has a staff of investment officers, actuaries, administrators, a Board, et al. I depend on them to do all of the accounting, and keep the Plan, and my pension, solvent. If that doesn’t happen, I will deal with whatever comes. I don’t care to have people threatening me, about the future, of my pension. All I can say is, the check comes every month, and CalPERS has not given me any reason, to fear that anything will change.

    I know all about the placement agent scandal and the bribed officials. CalPERS has been in the process of cleaning up after that saga, and new rules, have been put in place. I believe that a State Law was also passed, requiring placement agents to register as lobbyists. I feel satisfied, at this time, that CalPERS is on the right path.

    Captain, I have read the bios of each Board member, and I do not find that any one of them is unqualified. They all have impressive resumes. I can’t imagine why you would find fault with any of them, being on the Board. The Board is not composed of a majority of current or former union leaders, from what I derive, by reading the bios and resumes.

    I am very aware, of what happened to pensions, in the private sector, compared with the good pension plans, that public workers enjoy. My spouse was a victim of the illegal invasion, causing his pension to be frozen, in 1986, where it did not grow, or earn one more penny, of interest, until he applied for it. It now doesn’t even pay the premiums, for his medical insurance. We have survived because, of my pension. I did not go to work, in the first place, in 1967, for a pension. I am grateful–a lot of life is about timing and luck, and it isn’t always fair.

    Yes, I would like to see better pensions, for the rank and file, of the private sector–the CEO’s and managers are probably ok. My family members are all from the private sector, and I want them to have jobs, with good benefits. It is up to the principals, in the private sector, to make such happen. I have mentioned on past posts, that I saw a presentation, at the CA Dialogue, sponsored by CalPERS, in 2010, and the presenter’s organization was working toward bringing DB pensions, to the private sector. In the meantime, I do not support taking something away from someone or group, because another individual or group, lacks the same.

    Speaking of unions–there is a major BMW, supplier in the City of Ontario, CA. The employees at the warehouse, had all been there for 20+ years. They were unionized–their salaries were about $25/hr. When the union leaders approached the company, about the next contract, they were told that the union workers would all be laid off, and new non-union workers brought in. I was relieved to read, about a month ago that, after the union got busy, making contacts with state and congressional representatives, the two sides came to an agreement, and the workers, still have their jobs, for the time being, anyway. I can only say, “Viva, the Union”! I know you wouldn’t like that anecdote, but I had to tell it anyway. I’m a people lover–I want the best for everyone.

    Have good holidays.

  92. Captain Says:

    “Captain, I have read the bios of each Board member, and I do not find that any one of them is unqualified.”

    That is as much a reflection on yourself as it on the unqualified board members.

  93. SeeSaw Says:

    I don’t visualize any lights, bouncing off of you, either.

  94. Captain Says:

    SeeSaw Says:

    “I don’t visualize any lights, bouncing off of you, either.”

    Touché SeeSaw. I appreciate your comments but you hit a sore spot with me regarding the CalPERS B.O.D.

    Sorry if I offended.

  95. Theodore Steele IV,Adjunct Profesor Says:

    MVA, 80%, CERL counties—etc etc etc—- this is a never ending rehash—- Calpers has managed to be cash positive for over 80 years never missing a payment. This is bargained for employee compensation. You made the deal with the employees, they fulfilled their part of the bargain. Mendo and other small plans ran into trouble from misconduct, Calpers goes up and down and will be fine. New tiers and conditions have been added and taken away many times in history.

    A Ponzi scheme is one requiring fraud and a specific criminal intent, that is a legal term of art with a specific meaning, Calpers isn’t one. While I support the Govs plan, of course if new employees don’t contribute the funds will come from taxpayers. The real sad part is that this plan has worked for families and the inception of its current “reform” was under regulated wall street greed.

    We can all rehash the numbers out here forever but Calpers will pay out to 2050 or so with zero contributions from employees or employers. The no contributions part won’t occur for many many reasons, in fact it is “overdetermined”. So—- Calpers will probably roll on for another 80 years. I have to laugh though that ANYone thinks a 401k or the eq. is any way to support yourself……all of this boils down to people jealous of other crabs in the pot— same old story. Picking losers and winners will be fun for all the bloggers! Pathetic.

  96. Theodore Steele IV,Adjunct Profesor Says:

    and I agree— the board looks qualified—- which board member do you think is unqualified Oh Captain?

  97. Tough Love Says:

    SeeSaw …. I knew you wouldn’t answer my question.

  98. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Theodore Steele IV,Adjunct Profesor Says:
    December 7, 2011 at 4:03 pm
    MVA, 80%, CERL counties—etc etc etc—- this is a never ending rehash—- Calpers has managed to be cash positive for over 80 years never missing a payment.

    Hey, you know who else said that???

    General Motors.

    Chysler

    Leman Brothers

    Enron

    Worldcom

    Jefferson County AL

    Central Falls RI

    Texaco

    United Airlines

    American Airlines

    PG&E

    And Global Crossing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Come on Little Buddy, this is too easy for me. At least CHALLENGE ME!!!!!!😛

  99. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Theodore Steele IV,Adjunct Profesor Says:
    December 7, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    A Ponzi scheme is one requiring fraud and a specific criminal intent, that is a legal term of art with a specific meaning, Calpers isn’t one.

    Oh no, Teddy Steals has been Googling again, and that is dangerous my friends

    CalTURDS has already engaged in fraud with SB400, by fraudulently withholding material facts and inducing action based on those material facts. They did this through the mail and through wires-so this is now a potential RICO case.

    Go back to those Peoples College of Law classes Teddy, read up on the crim law sections.

  100. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Yes, I would like to see better pensions, for the rank and file, of the private sector–the CEO’s and managers are probably ok. My family members are all from the private sector, and I want them to have jobs, with good benefits. It is up to the principals, in the private sector, to make such happen. I have mentioned on past posts, that I saw a presentation, at the CA Dialogue, sponsored by CalPERS, in 2010, and the presenter’s organization was working toward bringing DB pensions, to the private sector.

    DB’s are not the problem seesaw, it is GOVERMENT DB’s at age 50-64 that pay out over $540K that are the problem. Not DB’s per se.

    if EVERYONE in America had a gov DB pension, like you want, over 50% of ALL of Americas GDP would be going to pay for pensions-obviously that is impossible.

    So you need to do the math or come to grips with reality-you CANNOT have gov employees “retiring” at age 50 with $3-$10 million pensions. It is impossible to sustain.

  101. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Oppss…..That is supposed to read “$50K” in the first sentence.

  102. SeeSaw Says:

    I thought I did, TL. This is a capitalist society, and in such a society, there is much disparity, in classes of people, from the very poor, to the very rich. Whenever any attempt is made, by government, to even the playing field, so to speak, those, of your ilk, start yelling, “Socialism”.
    I certainly do want employment for everyone, in this country. There is no need, in my opinion, to set up equality schedules, between the public and private sectors. If that were done, how are you going to get those CM’s the same pay and benefits, that the private sector, CEO’s get? Personally, I don’t think its fair, that my former, CM gets six times more in pension benefits, than I. How do you justify that?

  103. SeeSaw Says:

    Rex, in my 40 years of public sector employment, I never knew an employee, at my entity, who retired at the age of 50. I had a friend, colleague, who retired at age 53, with 13 years, service credit. Her pension was very small. She had to relocate, and is still working for a living in N. CA. Another example, was the Public Works Superintendent who retired at the age of 53. He started his career at the age of 18. Therefore, you might have a few of those examples in the various agencies, but it is not widespread. I am beyond, being moved, by your lectures, Rex. I was age 72, when I retired–now why don’t you be like you old friend, OCO, and say how stupid I was to work so long, because I will probably only draw retirement, for nine years.

  104. Ted Steele, Leader of the Internet Says:

    Poodle— are you attacking my statement of the law? Ok— where am I wrong about specific intent? Cite some authority. And– please cite some authority for the 3 other points you’ve made out here… still waiting!

  105. Tough Love Says:

    Seesaw, You’re still rambling but won’t answer. You can re-read the longer version (above) but so that the question is right in front of you, here is the quick summary (try actually answering the question if you can):

    With EQUAL Public & Private Sector “total compensation” (pay + pensions + benefits) as the appropriate goal, and with very close “cash pay”, Public Sector pensions are 2-6 times greater than their Private sector counterparts and with Taxpayers (85% of whom are NOT public Sector workers) paying for 80-90% of Public Sector pensions.

    Under what distorted sense of reality can this be justified ?

  106. SeeSaw Says:

    If we are going to live in a capitalist society, TL, there are always going to be disparities. You accuse me of refusing to answer your question, when my answer is right there, in the examples, I cite. We can continue to be a capitalist society, where some, can achieve things beyond their wildest dreams, as we see every day–or we could become a totally socialist society, where everyone makes the same pay and benefits, so that everything will be fair.

    If you, truely, were paying 80-90% of public sector pensions, the respective Pension Plans, would not be in the investment business.

  107. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Rex, in my 40 years of public sector employment, I never knew an employee, at my entity, who retired at the age of 50.

    You retired 4 years ago and you did not work in a local muni, which accounts for 1.5 million of the 2 million gov employees in this state and pay out much more in pensions as a % of costs for many reasons including spiking.

    2% of the Calpers retirees receiving over $100K pension account for over 10% of the costs-what do you think is going to happen when that 2% becomes 10% and then 20%????? It won’t work.

  108. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Teddy Steals, when you get into a real law school, not Peoples College, then we MAY be able to have this conversation, right now you lack the brain power lil buddy😛

  109. Tough Love Says:

    Seesaw,

    Sorry seeSaw, but your answer doesn’t fly. The excessive gains of the Public Sector has hardly been from anything remotely resembling “capitalism”, but via collusion by you Unions’ bribing of elected official (with campaign contributions and election support) in return for favorable votes on pay,pensions, and benefits.

    You personally will likely not experience much of the consequence of these actions but most “actives” and many younger retirees (still thinking the big pension will be there for THEM) will be paying a dear price for this greed and arrogance.

  110. Ted Steele, Leader of the Internet Says:

    Poodle– sadly, once again…you can’t answer….hmmmmm…..the saga continues…lol

  111. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Teddy, you should go back to grade shcool. Really. But study this time around

    🙂

  112. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    SeeSaw Says:
    If you, truely, were paying 80-90% of public sector pensions, the respective Pension Plans, would not be in the investment business.

    Actually seesaw, in the vast majority of the cases the employer-aka taxpayers- pay 95%-100% fo the EMPLOYEES costs. That is a fact. Take newport Beach as an example, their pensions costs are $46K for a FF and the FF pays a WHOPPING $1K of that $45K, or about 2%, ridiculous!

    <“For a firefighter who makes $100,000 annually, the taxpayers are now paying about $45,000 toward his pension costs, and he’s paying $1,000. Projected over a 30-year career (and yes, this is a simplification, but still a powerful illustration), the taxpayer would pay $1.35 million toward the pension, and the firefighter would contribute $30,000”

    http://www.dailypilot.com/news/opinion/tn-dpt-1206-commentary-20111205,0,2014360.story

  113. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    And UNTIL this state and the local muni’s get a hold of and can control the kind of abuses that I just posted in the above post, where the employee is getting a multi million dollar pension and ONLY putting $30K of their own $$ into it then there is never going to be more tax hikes.

  114. SeeSaw Says:

    What are you talking about Rex. I worked for a local muni for 40 years and 8 mos. I am, calmly. receiving a pension. I am not upset about anything. It is up to CalPERS to worry about my pension–so far, they have not indicated to me, that they are concerned about paying my pension, in the future. If that should ever happen, I will deal with the situation, at the time.

  115. SeeSaw Says:

    Pardon me, Rex. CalPERS and the other Pension Plans have actuaries to set up the plans. You best, go take care of yourself, and stop worrying that someone might be getting something, that you don’t get..

  116. SeeSaw Says:

    Just a reminder Rex. I am and have been a taxpayer in CA, all of my adult life. In other words, I probably funded my own pension, far more than any other taxpayers did. So I will repeat–I performed services for a salary. It was my money, once I was paid–not your’s or anybody else’s.

  117. SeeSaw Says:

    Knock it off, TL. There is and never has been any trait about me, that has been greed. Please stick to the topic of the article, and refrain from personal insults.

  118. SeeSaw Says:

    Rex, I am not one of the 2%–I am one of the 98%. I am going to enjoy my pension–I am not worrying about the 2%.

    Why are you so lathered up about something, that you can’t do anything about? Do you have enough income to pay your basic expenses? Can you manage your taxes? If you can, good–if you can’t, the amount of money you pay for public sector pensions, is sure not the cause. You need to look somewhere else, to place the blame.

  119. Ted Steele, Leader of the Internet Says:

    Poodle— lol great response! Bwahahahahaha bwaaaahhaaaaaa carry on !

  120. Tough Love Says:

    SeeSaw,

    Don’t take everything so personally. My greed and arrogance comment was directed at (many … but certainly not all) Civil Servants AS A GROUP.

    How else would you describe a group:
    (a) with multiples greater pensions than their Private Sector counterparts, while those Private Sector counterparts pay for 80-90% of the Public Sector pensions
    (b) who rally for tax INCREASES (yes INCREASES) … knowing that 90+% of the incremental tax revenue will ONLY go to (and is desperately needed to) support THEIR excessive and underfunded pensions and benefits
    (c) who scream bloody murder at even meaningless financial reforms …. offering givebacks worth 2 cents for each $1 really needed
    (d) who with their Union, bribe legislators with campaign contributions election support … and threats if their wishes are not met
    (e) who lie, cheat, and routinely misinform (e.g., cops life expectancy is 10 years shorter than the other retirees)
    (f) who threaten signature-gathers for reform Propositions
    (g) who care not one iota for the financial stability of the taxpayers who they demand pay for THEIR retirements

    The list is endless ………..

    YES, Civil Servants (as a group) are incredibly GREED and ARROGANT.

  121. Ted Steele, Leader of the Internet Says:

    TL– I wouldn’t say the gov workers are greedy because they got better pensions, or even pensions. They merely bargained for them during times when private cap was killing it— no one objected to pensions then at all– in fact, private equity was busy in the pre bubble deregulation mambo— vis Greenspan et al….NOW—- the whining is deafening— but nobody remembers the 33:1 pre AIG CDO’s etc leverage levels or frankly don’t even understand it!!!! LOL—– and now——- the same folks and the morons, well, like the commenters out here…..follow like sheep—– and if they could they would re elect the clowns that brought them to the dance!!! If it wasn’t so sad it’d be funny!

  122. SeeSaw Says:

    TL,

    a) We agree to disagree. I will reiterate that, once you pay your money for a service, its not your money anymore.

    b) The pension payments are going to be made, regardless of whether or not, there is a tax increase. CA suffered a devastating blow in the Sept. 08 collapse–I know you don’t like reference to that debacle, but its what happened. The State is in need of new revenue, to provide services, to its 37.5 million inhabitants. I am probably going to favor the half-cent increase–the pension has nothing to do with that. I need to read the whole initiative, before I am sure whether I will support it, or not.

    c) I have no details. The news writers will spin everything they can, to say the workers are screaming bloody murder. Whatever was agreed to in the CB process, must be carried out. I do know that givebacks have occured with my former colleagues, as well as in about 200 other public entities, state-wide. Not to mention, that the State employees took three years, worth of furloughs, resulting in 15% salary cuts.

    d) I belonged to a small union group, with dues of less than $15/mo. Our discussions focused on the negotiations, for the yearly MOU. There was never any discussion about bribing politicians.

    e) I know nothing about lying and cheating. If it happened, it wasn’t me.

    f) I don’t threaten signature gatherers,and I have never seen one threatened, in my locale. (I did tell the LaRouchies, who were collecting signatures, to impeach Obama, that they were nuts.) I do visit with a signature gatherer at my market, sometimes–I thought it was terrible that he was only getting 60 cents, a signature. I take a very dim view of people who walk right up, and give their signature, even though they know absolutely nothing, about what they are signing. (Some signers in OC, last year, were surpised to learn that they were newly registered Republicans, as a result of their signing a petition on another issue.)

    g) I have posted many times that my family members and other relatives and friends, are all from the private sector. Why you would charge that people, like me, would be so uncaring about them, is just not the case.

    To label a whole class of people, because they work in the public sector, as greedy and arrogant, is libelous.

  123. Ted Steele, Leader of the Internet Says:

    …well….”greedy and arrogant” are not words typically associated with libel or any other kind of actionable cause for defamation of any kind. They are words of opinion about character and as such— not libel, sorry.

    I would agree with you though that the use of these words is ignorant. But to be honest I find every single post from this crew ignorant at best.

  124. SeeSaw Says:

    Well it looks like we beat this thread to death, didn’t we. Have good holidays, everyone.

  125. Ted Steele, Leader of the Internet Says:

    you too!

  126. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Pardon me, Rex. CalPERS and the other Pension Plans have actuaries to set up the plans. You best, go take care of yourself, and stop worrying that someone might be getting something, that you don’t get.

    As soon as you get your fat, greddy, sticky fingers out of my back pocket, you best remove them before they get bitten off seesaw😛

  127. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    TL– I wouldn’t say the gov workers are greedy because they got better pensions, or even pensions.

    You wouldn’t but EVERYONE else would😛

    BAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  128. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    bTL,
    a) We agree to disagree. I will reiterate that, once you pay your money for a service, its not your money anymore.
    b) The pension payments are going to be made, regardless of whether or not, there is a tax increase.

    Central Falls said that too😛

  129. Ted Steele, Leader of the Internet Says:

    poor Poodle— in a battle of wits; unarmed! lol g’night trolls!

  130. SeeSaw Says:

    Well, its total breakdown, on your part, when you must revert to trash talk, Rex. Threatening to bite off my fingers–such class!

  131. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Grrrrr….that is Rex taking a bite out of crime, and seesaws fingers……and Teddy’s brainlerss skull!

    Night Night!

  132. Ted Steele, Leader of the Internet Says:

    lol–The Poodle is having delusions of adequacy again ! Ouch !!

  133. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Teddy, my paw hurts, can I stop spanking you now😛

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: