CalPERS’ new shtick: Ripping CalPERS = ripping retirees. Groan.

Dec. 17, 2012

By Chris Reed

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System is a piece of work. For years, it has downplayed the pension crisis, ignored its central role in the crisis by encouraging a 50 percent retroactive giveaway to all state employees in 1999, and depicted its critics as hateful ideologues, not people who understand basic math.

So the governor got through a fairly sweeping pension reform, which is the best proof possible in Democrat-dominated Sacramento that the problems are huge and unavoidable — and CalPERS is still pretending it is one of the good guys in the pension fight. The method: depicting attacks on CalPERS for its many mistakes and for its horrible counsel to local governments as an attack on innocent, aged retirees:

CalPERS officials say retirees are being scapegoated for problems caused by foolhardy local officials who overspent their budgets and Wall Street bondholders who should have understood that lending money to municipalities carries the risk of not getting repaid. … 

In 1999, CalPERS persuaded the Legislature to substantially increase state worker pensions, saying the costs could be borne by booming investment returns. CalPERS predicted the state’s annual pension contributions would remain at $766 million or less for at least a decade. Many local governments responded by boosting their own workers’ pensions.

When the investment markets sagged and the state’s annual contribution to CalPERS zoomed past $3 billion, Republican lawmakers and others began attacking benefit levels as too generous.

CalPERS was quick to defend itself, noting that the average pensioner receives under $30,000 a year and shouldn’t get blamed for weak investment results.

Groan. CalPERS encouraged local officials to make the bad decisions it now denounces. And the claim that the average pensioner receives under $30,000 a year is such a lame Maviglioism. The figure includes every state retiree, including the many who worked less than 15 years.
If CalPERS were in the private sector, it would be considered a pariah for its dishonesty, recklessness and refusal to accept responsibility when things go wrong. But in Sacramento, it is just one of many such government agencies.
Great, just great.

70 comments

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  1. Douglas
    Douglas 17 December, 2012, 07:32

    “CalWatchdog adheres to the Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists.”

    And yet we begin with a Reedism in the FIRST SENTENCE:

    “a 50 percent retroactive giveaway to all state employees in 1999”

    wrong   

    “And the claim that the average pensioner receives under $30,000 a year is such a lame Maviglioism.”

    $30,000 is a typical retirement for the “ones we love to hate”: DMV clerks or highway maintenance workers who worked 30 to 40 years.

    Reply this comment
  2. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 17 December, 2012, 08:35

    “a 50 percent retroactive giveaway to all state employees in 1999″
    wrong

    Google SB400. 100% correct

    $30,000 is a typical retirement for the “ones we love to hate”: DMV clerks or highway maintenance workers who worked 30 to 40 years.
    The AVERAGE Calturds pension for a 30 year employee who has retired in the last 3 years is $68K Dougie- that is 250% MORE than the states median salary.

    Reply this comment
  3. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 17 December, 2012, 08:39

    CalTURDS should be sued for fraud. The SB400 scam was what set the ball in motion on the pension scam, and it was set in motion by CalTURDS hiding/withholding material evidence/analysis of the SB400 give away.

    That is classic fraud.

    CalTURDS has 13 Board members, 6 are trough feeders (aka public employees) and the rest are political appointees who are no different than trough feeders, well, they are mostly trough feeders too so there is in fact no difference.

    Reply this comment
  4. Douglas
    Douglas 17 December, 2012, 09:55

    http://www.calpers.ca.gov/eip-docs/about/pubs/member/your-benefits-your-future-state-safety-benef.pdf

    Page 29: 2% @ 50:

    A safety worker retiring at age 50 with 30 years service will receive 60% of his final salary.

    Page 39: 3% @ 50:

    A safety worker retiring at age 50 with 30 years service will receive 90% of his final salary.

    That is, in fact, a fifty percent increase, not to ALL state employees, only to safety workers, and only to those who retire at age 50 with 30 years service. Around ONE PERCENT OF ALL STATE RETIREES.

    ———————————————————-
    Page 29: 2% @ 50:

    A “typical” safety worker, retiring at 55 (or over)with 30 years service will receive 81% of his final salary.

    Page 39: 3% @ 50:

    A typical worker retiring at age 55 with 30 years service will receive 90% of his final salary.

    That is, in fact, an ELEVEN percent increase, not fifty. Most safety workers retire in their mid to late 50’s, NOT at age fifty with thirty years service.

    ———————————————————–

    NO miscellaneous employees received a fity percent increase or anything close.

    I retired at 63 with 37 years service. My pension increased by 3% under the new formula. NOT 50%. Not even close.

    Ergo: ” a 50 percent retroactive giveaway to all state employees”

    ……….wrong

    Reply this comment
  5. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 17 December, 2012, 11:18

    The use of the 3% at 60 formula by municipal agencies, for miscellaneos employees, was never widespread–many agencies never adopted the formula for the miscellaneous workers. I was fortunate to be one who received that formula in 2001, because management wanted the upgrade and could not get it without including the rank and file. It resulted in an approximate 20% increase in my pension benefit, compared with what I would have received without the upgrade.

    CalPERS was just as gullible as any other agency in not knowing what was coming, ie, the global financial collapse of 2008. The perpertrators of that debacle, Wall Street, are to blame, and the public sector, including me, are sick and tired of being scapegoated for that collapse of the economy.

    I am a CalPERS retiree who is grateful that CalPERS is keeping our backs. I would never badmouth an entity that is responsible for providing my bread and butter. Those who get $100,000+ pensions make up 2% of the total number of current beneficiares. The ones to blame for that largess are the elected officials in the respective entities who agreed to enrich the managers. My own former CM receives six times+ more than I do in pension benefits. (I hold no ill-will toward him–I mention it only for informational purposes.)

    The “average” $68,000 pension for 30-year retirees is a cherry-picked group. The average CalPERS pension amount for all those who retired at the conclusion of the 2010-2011 Fiscal Year is $3065/mo. The average age of all CalPERS miscellaneous retirees is 60–I was 72 at the time of my retirement.

    Go CalPERS!!!

    Reply this comment
  6. Barb
    Barb 17 December, 2012, 12:18

    You know, I’ve been reading some great pieces of journalism here on CalWatchdog and have to go through the ususal rants by both sides! But rather than always discuss the problems, why not concentrate on the solutions. It’s clear the state has run a deficit that will never see daylight both from politicians and special interest groups. Yeah, I get it! But all in all, the state has a spending problem, point blank. The state is writing checks it simply can’t cash. So it would be nice to see some solutions/ideas thrown around that would finally help California reap some sunshine for a change.

    Reply this comment
  7. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 17 December, 2012, 14:14

    NO miscellaneous employees received a fity percent increase or anything close.
    I retired at 63 with 37 years service. My pension increased by 3% under the new formula. NOT 50%. Not even close.
    Ergo: ” a 50 percent retroactive giveaway to all state employees”

    Sorry Dougie-hate to spank you yet again, but AB 616 in 2001, added three high-end formulas for ALL other CalTURDS recipients besides public safety.

    Ergo Ms Dougie-THOSE three formulas raised all OTHER employees pensions, retroactively, by 50%.

    Oh man, did that feel good 🙂

    Reply this comment
  8. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 17 December, 2012, 14:19

    SeeSaw says:
    The “average” $68,000 pension for 30-year retirees is a cherry-picked group. The average CalPERS pension amount for all those who retired at the conclusion of the 2010-2011 Fiscal Year is $3065/mo. The average age of all CalPERS miscellaneous retirees is 60–I was 72 at the time of my retirement.

    It is a group that was picked to reflect what a CURRENT CalTURDS pensioner is getting who has worked an ENTIRE career so it can be ACCURATELY and FAIRLY compared to a current employee in SS or other pension plans with the same background-an apples to apples comparison. If you seesaw want to compare the average 5 year CalTURDS pensioner ($10K) to the average 5 years SS pensioner ($0) go ahead. It is done to prove what low life liars you clowns are seesaw.
    -if you can consider 30 years a careeer (only in trough feeder land)

    Go CalPERS!!!
    LOl..Oh brother 😉

    Reply this comment
  9. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 17 December, 2012, 14:23

    “AB 616 became effective January 1, 2002, allowing agencies to increase non-safety pension benefits to one of three new formulas, 2.5%@55, 2.7%@55 and 3%@60. Prior to AB 616 most agencies had the 2%@55 formula and some had the 2%@60 formula. The following graph shows the CalPERS non-safety benefit factors2 (including those under the 1.5%@65 formula) at various
    retirement ages (page 2 Doug):
    http://www.lhc.ca.gov/studies/activestudies/pension/BartelSep10.pdf

    Reply this comment
  10. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 17 December, 2012, 15:48

    Barb says,
    So it would be nice to see some solutions/ideas thrown around that would finally help California reap some sunshine for a change.
    ===========================
    Much has been done Barb, Stay up on the current affairs would you! In my opinion public employees have given up to much! Remember,this was the biggest scapegoating job in history!! And the innocent public employee’s are taking the brunt of it,far more than anyone else! Btw, a new pension formula will go in effect Jan 2013. Also, California voters decided change was needed and voted yes on PROP 30 and no on PROP 32!!!!! And just think Barb, As soon as we get rid of Prop 13, which is what really helped ruin California, There will be alot more sunshine around!!!

    Reply this comment
  11. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 17 December, 2012, 15:57

    Low-life liar? That-a-way, Rex. Stay classy!

    Reply this comment
  12. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 17 December, 2012, 16:10

    Not all entities adopted new formulas after AB616, Rex. It was an option provided by the Legislature. What is your point, anyway? You need to get over your snit because you couldn’t get a public sector job, and move on.

    Reply this comment
  13. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 17 December, 2012, 16:46

    SeeSaw says,
    You need to get over your snit because you couldn’t get a public sector job, and move on.
    =====================
    EXACTLY!!!!!!!! I find most who bag on public employee’s are those who really made the wrong career choice or are just unhappy no matter what! But this is just the type of class warfare the righty wingnut teabaggers are creating in hope we all don’t look at those crooked corporate pigs!!!!

    Reply this comment
  14. Douglas
    Douglas 17 December, 2012, 17:13

    Since we’re all reasonable adults here exchanging information, I usually attempt to be subtle and tactful. 

    So, instead of saying that anyone stating that all state workers got a 50% pension increase is either ignorant or lying, I just say the statement is WRONG. 

    Regardless of what AB616 may have “allowed”, the standard retirement formula for the vast majority of state workers after SB400 is 2% @ 55, up from he previous 2% @ 60.

    The few who got 50% are safety workers, and ONLY those who retired at 50 with 30 years service. Again, fewer than 1% of retirees. 

    Reply this comment
  15. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 17 December, 2012, 17:53

    LOL……several of you just crack me up! We can argue back and forth about the language of various assembly bills, but Dyspeptic said it best on Wayne’s post on the very same topic – “Good luck trying to get blood out of that turnip”.

    Some of you STILL don’t get it, do you? We’re done. The vein has played out.

    NTHEOC tips his hand: “Much has been done Barb…..” I was reminded of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_Is_to_Be_Done%3F

    Reply this comment
  16. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 17 December, 2012, 17:55

    This sounds more like Wall Street ceo’s! How many of them were prosecuted for the illegal activities that caused our recession,all while they are getting richer!!

    Reply this comment
  17. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 17 December, 2012, 18:04

    jimmydeeoc says,
    Some of you STILL don’t get it, do you? We’re done. The vein has played out.
    NTHEOC tips his hand: “Much has been done Barb…..” I was reminded of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_Is_to_Be_Done%3F
    ==================================
    No jimmy,I’m for the people!!!! More like this.
    According to the labor theory of value, all profits are the rightful earnings of the workers, and when they are kept from the workers by capitalists, workers are simply being robbed. On the basis of this theory, Marx called for the elimination of profits, for workers to seize factories and for the overthrow of the “tyranny” of capitalism. His call to action has been heeded in many countries throughout the world.

    Reply this comment
  18. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 17 December, 2012, 18:35

    Much has been done Barb, Stay up on the current affairs would you! In my opinion public employees have given up to much!
    ==
    OM ntheoc- your nose just grew 40 feet with thta whopper 🙂 They gave up a ton in SB and Stockton!

    Reply this comment
  19. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 17 December, 2012, 18:36

    Low-life liar? That-a-way, Rex. Stay classy!
    ==
    🙂 Terms of endearment seesaw!

    hey, did you see the post you made yesterday- Pot, meet Kettle 😉

    Reply this comment
  20. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 17 December, 2012, 18:38

    You need to get over your snit because you couldn’t get a public sector job, and move on.
    ==
    I know, I don’t have a family member or friend working in trough feeder land, I have a college degree, clean record, and common sense- any ONE of which pretty much disqualifies me 😉

    Reply this comment
  21. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 17 December, 2012, 18:44

    The few who got 50% are safety workers, and ONLY those who retired at 50 with 30 years service. Again, fewer than 1% of retirees.
    ==
    Doug, please……..It is actually 2%, but that 2% accounts for 20% of calpers expenses, do you realize that Doug???? 20%!!!!!!!!! If we had every pubic employee on a 1.7% or 2% multiplier (instead of 3%) with an a retirement age of 60 (instead of 50) we would not be unfunded to the tune of $500 billion.

    Doug-YOU need to get the public unions to understand the public safety employees are gaming and manipulating the system, essentially throwing you and the others who are not similarly situated under the bus- your anger and contempt should be directed towards them

    Reply this comment
  22. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 17 December, 2012, 18:45

    NTHEOC says:

    December 17, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    SeeSaw says,
    You need to get over your snit because you couldn’t get a public sector job, and move on.
    =====================
    EXACTLY!!!!!!!! I find most who bag on public employee’s are those who really made the wrong career choice or are just unhappy no matter what! But this is just the type of class warfare the righty wingnut teabaggers are creating in hope we all don’t look at those crooked corporate pigs!!!!

    ntheoc you find anyone who disargees with you and your scam as “those who really made the wrong career choice or are just unhappy…. righty wingnut teabaggers are creating in hope we all don’t look at those crooked corporate pigs!!!!”

    Reply this comment
  23. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 17 December, 2012, 18:53

    Rex the wonder dog says,
    Doug-YOU need to get the public unions to understand the public safety employees are gaming and manipulating the system, essentially throwing you and the others who are not similarly situated under the bus- your anger and contempt should be directed towards them
    ===========================================
    Nice try rex!!

    Reply this comment
  24. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 17 December, 2012, 18:56

    Rex the wonder dog says,
    I have a college degree, clean record, and common sense
    ============================
    The police and Fire dept test every year, if your statement is true and your in good shape then why don’t you test?

    Reply this comment
  25. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 17 December, 2012, 20:14

    NTHEOC

    No jimmy,I’m for the people!!!! More like this.
    According to the labor theory of value, all profits are the rightful earnings of the workers, and when they are kept from the workers by capitalists, workers are simply being robbed. On the basis of this theory, Marx called for the elimination of profits, for workers to seize factories and for the overthrow of the “tyranny” of capitalism. His call to action has been heeded in many countries throughout the world.
    ——————
    LOL well at least you’re honest.

    Wait!……Don’t tell me…….let’s see if I can guess:

    “….THIS time it will work!….”

    ROTFLMAO!!!!!!

    Too bad I got rid of my bong back in the early 80s. I could really use a few hits right now. LOL LOL LOL LOL

    Right on, man. Right on.

    But you should at least have the stones to provide corrections, thusly:

    “….His call to action has been heeded – AND ULTIMATELY FAILED – in many countries throughout the world……”

    Reply this comment
  26. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 17 December, 2012, 22:41

    Nice try rex!!
    ==
    🙂

    Reply this comment
  27. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 17 December, 2012, 22:46

    The police and Fire dept test every year, if your statement is true and your in good shape then why don’t you test?
    ==
    You can “test” all day/year/decade long, the ones who get hired are the ones connected in, and I have posted the hiring criteria many times ntheoc, in this order;
    1- Family (how ntheoc was hired);

    2- Friends;

    3- Military (for cops-ask Mark Fuhrman);

    4- Lawsuit consent decrees that have been implemented at EVERY major metro gov cop/FF agency in this state at sometime during the last 40 years, due to nepotism and cronyism, like you ntheoc (LASD is still under one under the Bowman decree, going on 34 years now)

    So testing is meaningless when the jobs are fixed.

    Reply this comment
  28. Douglas
    Douglas 18 December, 2012, 03:13

    Doug, please……it I is actually 2%
    ——————-
    In other words, all state workers did NOT get a 50% increase.

    Reply this comment
  29. eatingdogfood
    eatingdogfood 18 December, 2012, 05:41

    Democrats + Unions = BANKRUPTCY !!! Again ???

    Reply this comment
  30. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 18 December, 2012, 08:38

    Doug, please……it I is actually 2%
    ——————-
    In other words, all state workers did NOT get a 50% increase.
    ==
    All state trough feeders, ALL, received retroactive pension raises they did not earn nor pay for. The 2% represents the number who are over %100K, which is 12K plus and has grown at 100% or more every year for the last 5 years. The majority of which were 50%. If you want to know the exact breakdown, as it that really matters, contact John Vhiang’s office and ask him.

    But who cares if it is 30%, 40% or 50%, the fact is calturds and the public unions asked for-fraudulently- increases and the legislature gave them without regard to future generations. You’re nit picking a 10% or 20% of the increases when the increases no matter what the increases in any amount caused the problem.

    So stop trying to split hairs over the amount of unearned pension raises and adit they all received retroactive raises.

    Reply this comment
  31. Tough Love
    Tough Love 18 December, 2012, 08:42

    Quoting ….”So the governor got through a fairly sweeping pension reform, …”

    Chris, I hope you don’t REALLY believe that he pension reform passed is actually “sweeping” in scope. I suppose getting any pension reform passed in CA might be considered sweeping, but from a FINANCIAL MATERIALITY standpoint, the reforms were VERY VERY minor.

    For ANY pension reform to be financially material, it MUST (at a minimum) include VERY substantial (50+%) reductions in the pension accrual rate for FUTURE service for all CURRENT workers (safety included)……. and it’s WAY past time Taxpayers get that challenge in front of the appropriate Courts.

    Reply this comment
  32. Tough Love
    Tough Love 18 December, 2012, 09:01

    Quoting …”And the claim that the average pensioner receives under $30,000 a year is such a lame Maviglioism. The figure includes every state retiree, including the many who worked less than 15 years.”

    The under $30K “average” is understated not only because it includes short-career workers, but also because it includes:
    (1) part time workers
    (2) those who retired years (some decades) ago with much smaller salaries,
    (3) survivors of deceased pensioners with 50% survivorship annuities

    CalPERS is fully aware of the distortion of presenting such figures. It also knows that the MUCH more relevant “average” is that of recent (e.g., 2011) full-time, full-career (30+ year) retirees. But as THIS average would likely be about $70K, it knows that it wouldn’t support their misguided agenda.

    Reply this comment
  33. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 18 December, 2012, 09:03

    jimmydeeoc says,
    “….His call to action has been heeded – AND ULTIMATELY FAILED – in many countries throughout the world……”
    =======================
    And how’s that capitalism working out for us jimmy?? But times are changing jimmy!! Neo-liberalism and the increased exploitation following in the wake of globalisation have produced an anti-capitalist mood and the re-emergence of working class people.For the first time, we need to give the people, as producers and users, the chance to control every step of production, take initiatives and experiment without being strangled by profit-driven competition. Mabey it’s time to bring the world’s major corporations into public ownership! This could tackle the problems facing workers and young people today.

    Reply this comment
  34. Tough Love
    Tough Love 18 December, 2012, 09:16

    Quoting NTHEOC …”Mabey it’s time to bring the world’s major corporations into public ownership!”

    WOW ….. you’re even nuttier than I thought.

    I suggest you give up that well-paid, well-pensioned, well-benefited Public Sector Taxpayer-funded job, renounce your American citizenship, and move (your sorry A**) to the Socialist or Communist country of your choosing.

    Reply this comment
  35. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 18 December, 2012, 09:54

    Change the description from “average pensioner” to average “pension amount”, and under $30,000+ is correct. Its the bottom line that counts when considering the solvency of CalPERS. The average group of 30-year, career retirees at $68,000+, which you mention, is a cherry-picked group of people who retired in one specific year–a year when the whole group of retirees included thousands more. The average retirement amount for all CalPERS members who retired at the conclusion of the 2010-2011 Fiscal Year is $3065/mo.

    Reply this comment
  36. Tough Love
    Tough Love 18 December, 2012, 11:10

    SeeSaw the $68K figure isn’t cherry picking, it’s the most relevant figure for comparing to what Private Sector workers retiring TODAY get in retirement …. the average of which is certainly below HALF the $68K figure.

    Reply this comment
  37. Douglas
    Douglas 18 December, 2012, 11:36

    Hilarious!!

    Almost as funny as Stephen Colbert!

    EVERYBODY GOT A FIFTY PERCENT PENSION INCREASE! OH MY!

    OK, maybe it was two percent, stop splitting hairs.
    _________________________________________
    Ever heard of the boy who cried wolf?

    You can have a reasonable discussion about the pension system, but if you keep exaggerating the facts for sensationalist headlines, no one will believe ANYTHING you say.

    Oh, wait. Too late.

    Reply this comment
  38. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 18 December, 2012, 15:18

    It is a specific group of retirees that had 30-year careers–it was cherry picked to provide that particular statistic. So what does that show you, when there are thousands of more retirees at the same time, who are not in that group? The most recent figures for all new retirees, going on CalPERS benefits, are for the Fiscal Year, 2010-2011. And the average benefit for all those retirees is $3065/mo. That is $36,780/yr.–a truer average of what CalPERS beneficiares make, compared to the private sector, than the average of your group–which is cherry picked! There is no way to get around facts when you are using opinions, is there, TL.

    Reply this comment
  39. Tough Love
    Tough Love 18 December, 2012, 15:44

    SeeSaw, the POINT is really simple … When factoring in the MUCH richer PUBLIC Sector pension formulas, the MUCH earlier full retirement ages, the inclusion of post-retirement COLA increases, and the much more liberal definition of “pensionable compensation”, Public Sector retirees have been “promised” pensions the Taxpayer paid-for share of which is 2-4 times (5-6 for safety workers) greater in value at retirement than their Private Sector counterparts making the SAME pay, with the SAME years of service, and with the SAME age at retirement.

    THAT unnecessary, and unjust (to Taxpayers) structure is going to change MATERIALLY …. everywhere ….. first for NEW workers, then for CURRENT workers, and lastly, where financial circumstances make it an appropriate solution, for those ALREADY retired.

    Reply this comment
  40. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 18 December, 2012, 17:18

    SeeSaw, the POINT is really simple … When factoring in the MUCH richer PUBLIC Sector pension formulas, the MUCH earlier full retirement ages, the inclusion of post-retirement COLA increases, and the much more liberal definition of “pensionable compensation”, Public Sector retirees have been “promised” pensions the Taxpayer paid-for share of which is 2-4 times (5-6 for safety workers) greater in value at retirement than their Private Sector counterparts making the SAME pay, with the SAME years of service, and with the SAME age at retirement.
    ==
    LOL…TL still trying to reason with seesaw 😉

    Newsflash TL, you can bash your head into a brick wall a hundred times and have less brain damage than trying to reason with seesaw……..

    Reply this comment
  41. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 18 December, 2012, 17:20

    Hilarious!!

    Almost as funny as Stephen Colbert!

    EVERYBODY GOT A FIFTY PERCENT PENSION INCREASE! OH MY!

    OK, maybe it was two percent, stop splitting hairs.
    _________________________________________
    Ever heard of the boy who cried wolf?

    You can have a reasonable discussion about the pension system, but if you keep exaggerating the facts for sensationalist headlines, no one will believe ANYTHING you say.

    Oh, wait. Too late.
    ==

    Hmmm, so you admit all the trough feeders had their retirements goosed by as much as 50%, thank you.

    I owned you Dougie 😉

    Reply this comment
  42. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 18 December, 2012, 17:33

    It is still a cherry-picked group, TL and Rex. You are the ones with the hard heads. I said that I deal with fact–not opinions.

    Rex, not all public employees in the State of CA received 50% pension increases, via SB400 and AB616. Some entities did not adopt new formulas. My own retroactive increase resulted in a 20% increase over the amount I would have received without the new formula, and I was in one of few miscellaneous groups that received 3% at 60.

    Reply this comment
  43. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 18 December, 2012, 19:32

    TOUGH LOVE SAYS,
    THAT unnecessary, and unjust (to Taxpayers) structure is going to change MATERIALLY …. everywhere ….. first for NEW workers, then for CURRENT workers, and lastly, where financial circumstances make it an appropriate solution, for those ALREADY retired.
    =================
    HAHAHAHAHAHA, OK!!!!!!! You should change your screen name to “TOUGH SH!T”,It will help you deal with it all better TL,errr I mean TS!!!

    Reply this comment
  44. Tough Love
    Tough Love 18 December, 2012, 20:54

    NETHOC, We’ll see, won’t we.

    First up (in Calif.), …. San Bernadino.

    Of course Illinois or Kentucky Plans may beat SB over the cliff.

    Reply this comment
  45. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 18 December, 2012, 23:34

    Yes, TL, we will see. I predict you are so full of hot air that you will explode in tiny little pieces before you ever lay a hand on the the public sector workers of CA, including the current retirees. Better for you, that you stop your veiled threats against public sector workers in CA and tend to your own business in New Jersey.

    Reply this comment
  46. Douglas
    Douglas 19 December, 2012, 01:00

    Saws, ” not all public employees in the State of CA received 50% pension increases”
    ————————-
    Not even close. (Let’s call it ONE PERCENT, since the dog’s 2% referred to ALL $100K retirees, rather than just safety)

    Apparently when the innumerate dog posts a link, he only bothers to read selected portions, “look at this, but don’t look at THAT part over there.”

    The paper clearly states that 3%@50 gives a substantial increase to those in law enforcement retiring earlier (“as much as 50%” as per the dog) and “about a 10% increase for those retiring later.”

    Now, where have I heard THAT before? From the same guy who said “My pension increased by 3% under the new formula. NOT 50%. Not even close.”

    “About a 10% increase” for safety. And about 3% for me.
    ———————————-
    NO MATTER!! said the knee jerk. It’s still a retroactive giveaway!! It’s costing us billions!
    ———————————–
    Not necessarily, according to Bartel Associates:

    “However, one size does not fit all….some agencies negotiated with bargaining groups to pay for all or a portion of the benefit increases. Sometimes this resulted in lower pay increases and sometimes this resulted in a direct pick up of employer contribution.”

    I can say personally, using 2000 as a base year, if the “egregious giveaway” of SB400 had NOT passed, and instead I had received COLAs tied to CPI increases, my pension would be at least 5% higher than it is now.

    Yeah, don’t throw me in that briar patch.

    Reply this comment
  47. Douglas
    Douglas 19 December, 2012, 02:53

    jimmydeeoc says: ” Some of you STILL don’t get it, do you? We’re done. The vein has played out.”
    ——————–
    T L says: “THAT unnecessary, and unjust (to Taxpayers) structure is going to change MATERIALLY …. everywhere ….. first for NEW workers, then for CURRENT workers, and lastly, where financial circumstances make it an appropriate solution, for those ALREADY retired.”
    ———————
    the dog says: “LOL, Oh, brother”, “Boy did that feel good”, “I owned you”,
    ———————
    Chris Reed says: ” CalPERS is still pretending it is one of the good guys in the pension fight.”

    ====
    Capitol Weekly says: ” Stockton is cutting retiree health care not pensions, contending that pensions are necessary to be competitive in the local government job market.”

    NECESSARY TO BE COMPETITIVE

    and: ” Coalinga left CalPERS two decades ago but has decided to rejoin, said the city manager, Darrel Pyle. The Fresno County city, population 13,380, has trouble recruiting, he said, and the quoted CalPERS rate is lower than current city retirement costs.”

    LOWER THAN CURRENT RETIREMENT COSTS

    ====
    Douglas says: “Powerful Public Employee Unions” is an oxymoron. CalPERS pensions have existed since long before government workers unionized. They were not some back room deal, they were instituted to attract and retain qualified employees.

    In 1979, state employees had gone over two years without a raise, while inflation had increased over 20% . The legislature passed a 14.5% increase, then had to override Jerry Brown’s veto. That’s a big increase, but there have been DOZENS of negotiations since then, and government workers have risen and fallen many times since then, relative to inflation and in comparison to private sector compensation.

    Likewise, SB400 was over a dozen years ago, there have been many negotiations since then. More often than not, state workers received no raises in those negotiations, in some cases more than offsetting the benefits of SB400.

    SB400 is history. Get over it. In the future, government will do as it has in the past. As Coalinga and Stockton are doing, they will negotiate competitive compensation packages, and part of those terms will be pensions.

    Pensions which provide adequate retirement at a LOWER COST than is possible with a 401(k). It is a classic win, win, win situation. Better retention of workers for the employer, better pensions for the worker, and at a LOWER COST to the taxpayer.

    You’re welcome.

    Reply this comment
  48. Douglas
    Douglas 19 December, 2012, 02:58

    And this bears repeating:

    “a 50 percent retroactive giveaway to all state employees in 1999″

    wrong

    WILDLY wrong

    Reply this comment
  49. Tough Love
    Tough Love 19 December, 2012, 08:35

    Douglas, Check back in a few years and tell us how just secure that Public Sector pension you’ve been promised is looking ………. if it hasn’t ALREADY been reduced.

    Reply this comment
  50. Douglas
    Douglas 19 December, 2012, 09:24

    Go CalPERS!!!

    Reply this comment
  51. Tough Love
    Tough Love 19 December, 2012, 09:53

    Douglas,

    If the Bond Company lawyers in the San Bernadino bankruptcy win their argument that the debt to CalPERS can be diminished, the floodgates will open for the many many other cities in similar distress (thanks to the greed of your Unions and the bought-and-paid-for politicians who approved these grossly excessive pensions) to do the same.

    Once that process begins, your pension is TOAST.

    Reply this comment
  52. Steven Maviglio
    Steven Maviglio 19 December, 2012, 10:31

    I’m honored by the coining of the term “Maviglioism.” Apparently it means the truth. The average CalPERS pension is actually less than $30.000. And another fact: only 2 percent of CalPERS pensions are more than $100,000 — and most of those are from those from top level employees who no doubt would receive that and more in the private sector.

    Reply this comment
  53. Douglas
    Douglas 19 December, 2012, 10:47

    Not feeling the love, here. You seem to be negating Mr. Reeds claim that CalPERS is pretending to be the good guy by depicting attacks on CalPERS as an attack on innocent, aged retirees.

    What I see in this blog looks more like an attack on retirees and government workers in general. e.g.”greedy unions” and “grossly excessive pensions”

    I WISH I had anywhere close to what you consider the “average” pension of $70,000.

    Alas, after 37 years, I am much closer to Saw’s $30,000 average.

    Reply this comment
  54. Tough Love
    Tough Love 19 December, 2012, 16:28

    Steven Maviglio,

    Most of the $100+K pensions are going to cops & firemen.

    SO are these the …. “top level employees who no doubt would receive that and more in the private sector.”

    Really ?

    Reply this comment
  55. Misguided
    Misguided 19 December, 2012, 18:32

    Whether 2% of retirees are getting 100K+ pensions or whether 5% is irrelevant other than populist anger. What is far more relevant is that the totality of the pension payments are breaking the taxpayer’s back. Retirees love to distract others with the same tired excuses – Wall St, pension holidays, Prop 13, real estate bubble, recession, etc while continuing to take the stance that their pensions are untouchable. Also retirees assume that the taxpayer has provided them an open ended credit card to make up for any shortfalls. Employees currently working in the public sector are quitenfoolish for not taking on their retired colleagues and demanding some compromises because their retired colleagues are basically eating their lunch. The general public is an even greater fool for giving the Dems a supermajority. Cause the fun is going to really begin now. We ain’t seen anything yet. Makers, get ready to be fleeced.

    Reply this comment
  56. Douglas
    Douglas 19 December, 2012, 19:41

    Top level “cops and firemen”. Not the ones you meet on the street.

    Reply this comment
  57. Tough Love
    Tough Love 19 December, 2012, 21:05

    No Douglas, ALL full career cops & firemen in CA cities (regardless of rank) retire with $100+K pensions ….. but you already knew that , didn’t you ?

    Reply this comment
  58. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 19 December, 2012, 21:12

    TL, I have no documentation in front of me, at the moment, but I am sure your statement is false. Rank and file FFs and POs, do not make $100+K base salaries where I am–California. And, CalPERS calculates pensions on base salary–not on added overtime. So there might be PS workers who fall under the 37 Act County pension plans and make that kind of money–which is a far cry from all career cops and firemen in CA cities.

    Reply this comment
  59. Douglas
    Douglas 19 December, 2012, 22:50

    Easy breezie. There are 12,000 members of the 100k pension club. I’m sure there are more retired “cops and firefighters” than that.

    Reply this comment
  60. Tough Love
    Tough Love 19 December, 2012, 22:58

    Douglas, Don’t play dumb.

    just about all CURRENTLY retiring cops and firemen retire with $100+K pensions.

    Reply this comment
  61. Douglas
    Douglas 20 December, 2012, 01:14

    I am not a law enforcement officer or a firefighter.

    CalPERS shows that in 2011 the average retirement for CHP was $7,718 per month. Average public agency safety retirement was $7,059. Clearly a lot of law enforcement and firefighters receive less than $100,000.

    They also show about 1,500 new pensions in 2011were over $100,000, and about 2/3 of those were state or local safety retirees.

    If the average safety retirement is under $100,000, I must assume those 1,000 new $100K pensioners were in the upper ranks.

    I’m not sure what you’re point is, though. Is it that these guys are paid too much, or their pensions are excessive, or both?

    Reply this comment
  62. Tough Love
    Tough Love 20 December, 2012, 08:14

    Douglas, I was more referring to city/town Police & fire pensions, not not those of State retirees.

    I have modest concern about their cash pay. It’s their pensions that are WAY WAY too generous. When you factor in the extraordinarily rich formula (which by itself is too generous) and layer upon that full (unreduced) retirement ages in the 50’s and COLA increases, each of these $100K safety pensions would, on the date of retirement, cost $2 Million to buy.

    In the Private Sector where formulas are rarely even HALF as generous formula-wise, with no COLAs, and with full retirement ages typically at age 65 (sometimes 62 with long service), a pension with a $2 Million value at retirement would be that of a Private Sector executive making just about $400K annually.

    While you will likely dispute this, factually, the workers contributions (including all the investment income earned on those contributions) rarely accumulates to a sum at retirement sufficient to buy more that 10-20% of the promised pension (YES, it’s true) …. with Taxpayers contributions and the earnings thereon responsible for the 80-90% balance. Keep in mind that the investment earnings on Taxpayers contributions would have stayed in the Taxpayers’ pockets (benefiting THEM) in the absence of the need for such high Taxpayers contribution levels.

    So call that $400 private sector salary-equivalent a 0.85 (halfway between the 80-90%) x $400K = $340K. Which means that the TAXPAYERS pay for the FULL cost of a safety worker’s pension equivalent to that of they typical Private Sector executive making about $340.

    Yes, I would say that that’s unnecessary (to attract and retain a qualified workforce) and is grossly unfair to Taxpayers who pay for it.

    And let’s not forget the HUGE healthcare subsidies for people retiring in the 50’s …. easily worth several hundred thousand dollars for a husband and wife.

    Reply this comment
  63. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 20 December, 2012, 08:49

    I’m honored by the coining of the term “Maviglioism.” Apparently it means the truth.

    Around here it means goofball.

    The average CalPERS pension is actually less than $30.000.
    Once agaib, the AVERAGE CalTURDS pension with a 30 year trougher who has retired in the last 3 years is $68K, it is much higher for the 20 1937 act local pensions, $86K for Contra Costa.

    And another fact: only 2 percent of CalPERS pensions are more than $100,000
    FACT: that 2% accounts for 20% of CalTURDS pension expenses. Do the math of when thta 2% hits 8%, 10%.

    BAM!!!!!! Another trough knocked into the last week with the truth.
    Steve just got Maviglioised!

    Reply this comment
  64. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 20 December, 2012, 08:50

    I’m honored by the coining of the term “Maviglioism.” Apparently it means the truth.

    Around here it means goofball.

    The average CalPERS pension is actually less than $30.000.

    Once again, the AVERAGE CalTURDS pension with a 30 year trougher who has retired in the last 3 years is $68K, it is much higher for the 20 1937 act local pensions, $86K for Contra Costa.

    And another fact: only 2 percent of CalPERS pensions are more than $100,000
    FACT: that 2% accounts for 20% of CalTURDS pension expenses. Do the math of when thtat 2% hits 8%, 10%.

    BAM!!!!!! Another trough knocked into the last week with the truth.
    Steve just got Maviglioised!

    Reply this comment
  65. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 20 December, 2012, 08:56

    TL, I have no documentation in front of me, at the moment, but I am sure your statement is false. Rank and file FFs and POs, do not make $100+K base salaries where I am–California

    Top pay step for GED cop is well over $100K in base salary in many if not most cities;

    Police Officer ($7,594 – $10,264)= $123K NOT COUNTING the special pay, which increases base pay by up to 50%= $185K not counting benefits, which is eaisly a smuch as the cash salsary= $369K.
    http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/7936

    Reply this comment
  66. JWP
    JWP 20 December, 2012, 09:28

    Spoken like a true tool of the ring knockers.

    Reply this comment
  67. Douglas
    Douglas 20 December, 2012, 16:15

    TL, “While you will likely dispute this” (I will, later)

    First, I took a look (again) at San Jose salaries and payments. I had glanced at them before, briefly. I will say I was surprised by the number of “captains”, “sergeants”, lieutenants”, “brigade Commander”, ad nauseum, who made well over $100K. Compared to a city like Turlock, makes Turlock look much more reasonable.

    I won’t try to justify San Jose, but I also won’t criticize, since I know nothing of the particulars there. (As I recall, they are not in CalPERS, for what that’s worth.)

    Yes, I will dispute the “cost” of pensions. “Unfunded liabilities” is one issue. If more money (taxes) is required due to a failure to meet investment goals, this is obviously an extra burden on the taxpayer. Especially in cities, where over 80% of the budget is personnel costs. For the most part, in the past, these changes in costs have averaged out over the years.

    However, you seem to be referring to the “income follows principal” as an extra cost on the taxpayer. As I recall, Girard Miller, among others, agrees with you.

    Calpers says that, based on figures for 20 years, ending June, 2011: each dollar of pension comes from three sources: 13C from members, 21c from employers (taxpayers) and 66c from investment earnings.
    You are saying, as I understand, that 66c, or a good portion of it, is actually also taxpayer money, since it is earned from 21c taxpayer contributions which could otherwise be earning interest in YOUR retirement account.

    There I do disagree with you and Mr. Miller. That 21c coming from the employer to CalPERS is part of my compensation. Once the employer has remitted that to CalPERS, the income is following MY principal, not the taxpayers.

    You may have a much more valid point on the salaries of some police and fire. I know many of them have increased greatly in the last 10 years. And since pensions costs are a percentage of salary those have increased also.

    Reply this comment
  68. Tough Love
    Tough Love 20 December, 2012, 17:45

    Douglas, That’s fine … we can agree to disagree (re interest follows principal, etc.). But just a thought, between Girard Miller and CalPERS, who has more of a vested interest in distorting the truth ?

    But here is an example to consider. One way to look at it is that “pre-funding” (which creates the asset pool from which interest is earned) is simply a mechanism to change the cash flow pattern between 2 extremes (Lump sum pre-funding of all costs up front, and pay the costs as they occurs with zero pre-funding). Now consider the extreme lump sum prefunding case….. say the promised benefit will be $1 Million payable in one payment 20 years in the future, and assume assets will earn 6%. Then a lump sum of $311,804.73 is required, becuase it would grow over 20 years to the $1 Million at 6% interest. Now suppose the split of costs between workers and Taxpayers is 25%/75% so the workers pay $77.951.18 and the Taxpayers pay $233,853.55. In THIS case you would argue that the Taxpayers’ cost is $233,853.55.

    At the other extreme, neither the workers nor Taxpayers pay anything until 20 years hence, and then the workers pay $$250,000 and the Taxpayers pay $750,000. I’m sure, in THIS example you would agree that the Taxpayer PAID $750,000 for the SAME fixed benefit that has been promised the workers.

    But how can that “fixed” benefit have 2 different costs ????

    Now lets try this ….. we indeed choose to make one one payment at the end of the 20 years, the Taxpayers’ payment being $750,000. But quietly on the side, the Taxpayers (huddle amongst themselves and put $233,853.55 into a 20 year bank CD with a guaranteed return of 6%). Well voila, that $233,853.55 has grown to $750,000 at the end of the 20-th year … of which $750,000-$233,853.55=$516,146.45 is earned interest. Now no one would argue that the $516,146.45 is the Taxpayers’ money since it is in a CD in THEIR name.

    So, is there really a difference if they pay the full $750,000 cost at the end or put $233,853.55 in year 1 into a CD and earn $516,146.45 in interest to get to the same $750K, and THEN take it out of THEIR pocket and pay the bill ?

    Reply this comment
  69. Douglas
    Douglas 20 December, 2012, 19:06

    No.

    Reply this comment

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