With people living longer and municipalities struggling to pay pension bills, critics question...

With people living longer and municipalities struggling to pay pension bills, critics question whether early retirement packages for public workers are sustainable. CNBC highlights one who will receive $174K/year after retiring at 59. Defenders argue that attractive pensions help draw in and keep people in vital jobs.
Comments (15)
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (15963) | Send Message
    "Vital" jobs. What is this, SNL?
    11 Dec 2011, 07:19 AM Reply Like
  • cynic2011
    , contributor
    Comments (660) | Send Message
    We have a friend who recently retired from teaching middle school in Orange County CA. She's receiving almost 100k per year,plus health insurance til she's 65. And this is the full package,no special payouts, everyone gets the same thing. Incredible.
    11 Dec 2011, 08:01 AM Reply Like
  • enigmaman
    , contributor
    Comments (2797) | Send Message
    Labeling these jobs as "vital" to justify the pay and pensions being doled out, to justify the municipalities poor judgment, poor use of their tax revenue and their Pollyanna view of reality which is just another version of "kick the can".
    11 Dec 2011, 08:03 AM Reply Like
  • bdarken
    , contributor
    Comments (617) | Send Message
    Must pay...?
    Anyone know how many students are schooled by their parents?
    Anyone know how many firefighters and EMTs are volunteers?
    (most, in the USA).
    You could cut 25% off both the salary and benefits of most govt positions and have qualified, college educated people lined up to fill the job.
    11 Dec 2011, 08:23 AM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (4528) | Send Message


    When unemployment hits 2% I'll be worried about keeping people in 'vital jobs.'
    11 Dec 2011, 08:42 AM Reply Like
  • User 509088
    , contributor
    Comments (1535) | Send Message
    100k pension for a teacher in florida? that's more than they make on average to do the job. are you sure?


    it's unfair to compare incentivised education bureaucrats with line teachers. they are the corporate hoi polloi of the system and it's more appropriate to compare them to mid-tier corporate managers at the executive level. in which case, their pensions are kinda tawdry, folks.
    11 Dec 2011, 09:58 AM Reply Like
  • Valley Boy
    , contributor
    Comments (2217) | Send Message
    I'm sure he was referring to a teacher in the Orange County that is in Southern California. Public pensions and many salaries have gotten out of hand here in California. The bucks will stop someplace.
    11 Dec 2011, 02:40 PM Reply Like
  • Peter Schmotzer
    , contributor
    Comments (73) | Send Message
    This is why Unions are getting ingrained into the public sector so hard - because inefficient Unions can milk the public gravy train in a way that would bankrupt a 'normal' company, but govt just raises taxes/fees on the rest of us. We can see how well this has worked out for Europe!
    11 Dec 2011, 10:08 AM Reply Like
  • mike8599
    , contributor
    Comments (588) | Send Message
    Question: Do they pay into SS or get any payout from SS ?


    Just wondering if this is an example of "privatized" SS.
    11 Dec 2011, 10:24 AM Reply Like
  • cynic2011
    , contributor
    Comments (660) | Send Message
    Our friend the teacher does not receive SS,although they tried to game the system. didn't work.
    11 Dec 2011, 10:27 AM Reply Like
  • bdarken
    , contributor
    Comments (617) | Send Message
    great observation!
    Reminds me of:


    State by state, many public teachers have a segregated SS fund..privatized retirement. They neither pay into, nor receive SS.
    I believe there is an old separated/segregated railroad retirement fund as well---another special interest carve out.  
    What about GM/Chrys workers?  
    Galveston Public sector has privatized pensions, I think.
    It's really not that scary.
    Once you start teaching the leaders, they'll follow along!
    11 Dec 2011, 11:52 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS-2.0
    , contributor
    Comments (528) | Send Message
    Until the incestuous relationship with politicians and public sector unions is abolished, it will continue unabated.


    And should it continue unabated, it will not end well.


    11 Dec 2011, 11:31 AM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3194) | Send Message
    Yes, these benefits keep people in their jobs. The issue is that the best teachers aren't attracted to the profession due to the pay, its because they care about children. What it does attract are the lazy and mediocre - I'm sure anyone that went to college knows some folks that "were going into education" due to the summers off, decent pay, and good benefits (and thats a long time ago for myself - today replace decent and good with great and outlandish).


    And I might add that where I live we have a fire department.... consisting entirely of volunteers, funded entirely by private donations from the community. I can appreciate that in cities there are challenges that don't exist in more rural areas and having professionals may be necessary. But I don't appreciate the idea that if you enter that profession that you should be allowed to retire after twenty or twenty five years and receive a pension for 25 or 30 years - give them a 401K to take with them when they retire at 45 or 50.


    No one is asking for public employees to be paupers. But the current situation is grotesque. I just don't see the "talent" at the DMV, or Human & Health Services, or any other government agency - I see people that are basically "serviceable". And frankly they won't be quitting their job after salary and benefit cuts because no one else would be willing to hire them.


    If you don't want to serve the public, then don't enter public service. What we have currently is public union enrichment at the expense of cutting public service - pay the bureaucrats and who cares if there is no money for the actual services!! Public unions have to go along with the irresponsible compensation packages.


    We should pass a law limiting public pension payments to nothing greater than the average earnings in a person's county of work. So if you work in Jefferson county, and the average person there earns 32,000 your pension payment can't exceed 32,000, No matter how many years you worked, no matter how much your unions bribe the politicians. Don't like it? Quit and go out into the private sector, start a business and create jobs.
    11 Dec 2011, 11:57 AM Reply Like
  • HiSpeed
    , contributor
    Comments (1252) | Send Message
    The truth is (and I'm sorry to have to say it) Public Unions have devolved into parasites on the productive Middle Class, pure and simple :/
    11 Dec 2011, 10:45 PM Reply Like
    , contributor
    Comments (10765) | Send Message
    The compensation for this individual is obscene. I don't care what his position was in the public sector. That package is probably equivilent or greater than a Senator or Congressman. No Public Employee should make that kind of money as compensation for full time employment nor as a retirement package. That package will be 6x the COMBINED SS payments for both me and my wife. Public employees "Gone Wild".
    11 Dec 2011, 11:16 PM Reply Like
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