With public workers eligible to retire at 55 or 60, governments look to boost retirement ages

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    Dec 19, 2011 10:13 PM GMT
    More than a little ridiculous.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/public-retirement-ages-come-under-170328247.html

    After nearly 40 years in public education, Patrick Godwin spends his retirement days running a horse farm east of Sacramento, Calif., with his daughter.

    His departure from the workaday world is likely to be long and relatively free of financial concerns, after he retired last July at age 59 with a pension paying $174,308 a year for the rest of his life.

    Such guaranteed pensions for relatively youthful government retirees — paid in similar fashion to millions nationwide — are contributing to nationwide friction with the public sector workers. They have access to attractive defined-benefit pensions and retiree health care coverage that most private sector workers no longer do.

    Experts say eligible retirement ages have fallen over the past two decades for many reasons, including contract agreements between states and government labor unions that lowered retirement ages in lieu of raising pay.

    With Americans increasingly likely to live well into their 80s, critics question whether paying lifetime pensions to retirees from age 55 or 60 is financially sustainable. An Associated Press survey earlier this year found the 50 states have a combined $690 billion in unfunded pension liabilities and $418 billion in retiree health care obligations.

    Three-quarters of U.S. public retirement systems in 2008 offered some kind of early-retirement option paying partial benefits, according to a 2009 Wisconsin Legislative Council study. Most commonly, the minimum age for those programs was 55, but 15 percent allowed government workers to retire even earlier, the review found. The study is widely regarded as the most comprehensive assessment of the issue.

    Police and firefighters often can retire starting even younger — at around age 50 — because of the physically demanding nature of some of those jobs.

    Yet with cities, counties and states struggling to pay pension bills, changes are afoot.

    In November, San Francisco voters supported a local ballot initiative to hike minimum retirement ages for some city workers. Since that time, laws increasing retirement ages for government workers were signed in Rhode Island and Massachusetts in efforts to address underfunded pension systems.

    Earlier in New Jersey, part of a legislative deal struck between Democrats and Republicans raised the normal retirement age from 62 to 65.
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    Dec 19, 2011 10:24 PM GMT
    Retirement age is a huge issue, not just for the public sectors, but also whatever private businesses still have pensions.

    On the one hand, anyone being paid a pension as long or longer then they ever worked, is obviously unsustainable. On the other hand, extending retirement age means less jobs for young people joining the workforce.

    We really need an entire way of rethinking work/retirement/etc.
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    Dec 19, 2011 10:28 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidRetirement age is a huge issue, not just for the public sectors, but also whatever private businesses still have pensions.

    On the one hand, anyone being paid a pension as long or longer then they ever worked, is obviously unsustainable. On the other hand, extending retirement age means less jobs for young people joining the workforce.

    We really need an entire way of rethinking work/retirement/etc.


    In the private sector defined benefit is rare - not so in the public sector and that's one of the primary problems.

    Personally I doubt I'd ever want to retire - but it's perhaps telling of your world view that is zero sum such that workers have to retire in order for work to be available to the young.
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    Dec 19, 2011 10:42 PM GMT
    well lets try making that mandatory to INCLUDE upper management! (lest we have age discrimination issues)

    Lately government (managers) have been laying off the underlings and then boosting their own pay. Maybe we should start at the TOP? Yes? icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Dec 19, 2011 11:00 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 saidRetirement age is a huge issue, not just for the public sectors, but also whatever private businesses still have pensions.

    On the one hand, anyone being paid a pension as long or longer then they ever worked, is obviously unsustainable. On the other hand, extending retirement age means less jobs for young people joining the workforce.

    We really need an entire way of rethinking work/retirement/etc.


    In the private sector defined benefit is rare - not so in the public sector and that's one of the primary problems.

    Personally I doubt I'd ever want to retire - but it's perhaps telling of your world view that is zero sum such that workers have to retire in order for work to be available to the young.


    What a hilarious caricature of me you've painted in your feeble mind. I actually also doubt I'd ever want to retire. What does one do all day?

    And you know I'm immune to your "free market" Ayn Randian bullshit, so spare us both the "worldview" BS.

    The reality is that despite sitting on trillions of dollars, corporate "America" refuses to invest or hire because most companies are run by sociopaths (1 in 5 CEOs is a sociopath versus 1 in 25 in the general population) or greedy assholes (see Walton Family, The) who just want to squeeze every last dime of "profit" without regard for their workers, the environment, the economy and often the law.

    The profits currently sitting in corporate America's hands could create 30 million jobs virtually overnight, but that would mean someone at the top might have to give up a country club membership or private jet, so that's not going to happen.

    Sadly, for all involved, it's very short sighted because these companies are now cannibalizing their own markets in the US and it's unlikely that a similar market will replace it any time soon.
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    Dec 20, 2011 1:36 AM GMT
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 saidRetirement age is a huge issue, not just for the public sectors, but also whatever private businesses still have pensions.

    On the one hand, anyone being paid a pension as long or longer then they ever worked, is obviously unsustainable. On the other hand, extending retirement age means less jobs for young people joining the workforce.

    We really need an entire way of rethinking work/retirement/etc.


    In the private sector defined benefit is rare - not so in the public sector and that's one of the primary problems.

    Personally I doubt I'd ever want to retire - but it's perhaps telling of your world view that is zero sum such that workers have to retire in order for work to be available to the young.


    What a hilarious caricature of me you've painted in your feeble mind. I actually also doubt I'd ever want to retire. What does one do all day?

    And you know I'm immune to your "free market" Ayn Randian bullshit, so spare us both the "worldview" BS.

    The reality is that despite sitting on trillions of dollars, corporate "America" refuses to invest or hire because most companies are run by sociopaths (1 in 5 CEOs is a sociopath versus 1 in 25 in the general population) or greedy assholes (see Walton Family, The) who just want to squeeze every last dime of "profit" without regard for their workers, the environment, the economy and often the law.

    The profits currently sitting in corporate America's hands could create 30 million jobs virtually overnight, but that would mean someone at the top might have to give up a country club membership or private jet, so that's not going to happen.

    Sadly, for all involved, it's very short sighted because these companies are now cannibalizing their own markets in the US and it's unlikely that a similar market will replace it any time soon.


    Given that you're probably one of the best caricatures of a feeble mind when it comes to economics, I'll take your comments in stride. Again, you're the one who suggested that extending retirement age would take away jobs. My "Ayn Randian bullshit"? Yeah - because socialized markets are far more efficient and create better jobs...
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    Dec 20, 2011 1:43 AM GMT
    riddler78 saidGiven that you're probably one of the best caricatures of a feeble mind when it comes to economics, I'll take your comments in stride. Again, you're the one who suggested that extending retirement age would take away jobs. My "Ayn Randian bullshit"? Yeah - because socialized markets are far more efficient and create better jobs...


    From someone as delusional and hypocritical as you are when it comes to the economy, "feeble" is a compliment. icon_lol.gif
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    Dec 20, 2011 1:50 AM GMT
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 saidGiven that you're probably one of the best caricatures of a feeble mind when it comes to economics, I'll take your comments in stride. Again, you're the one who suggested that extending retirement age would take away jobs. My "Ayn Randian bullshit"? Yeah - because socialized markets are far more efficient and create better jobs...


    From someone as delusional and hypocritical as you are when it comes to the economy, "feeble" is a compliment. icon_lol.gif


    Er irony... icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Dec 20, 2011 1:53 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 saidGiven that you're probably one of the best caricatures of a feeble mind when it comes to economics, I'll take your comments in stride. Again, you're the one who suggested that extending retirement age would take away jobs. My "Ayn Randian bullshit"? Yeah - because socialized markets are far more efficient and create better jobs...


    From someone as delusional and hypocritical as you are when it comes to the economy, "feeble" is a compliment. icon_lol.gif


    Er irony... icon_rolleyes.gif


    No. Mockery.
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    Dec 20, 2011 1:55 AM GMT
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 saidGiven that you're probably one of the best caricatures of a feeble mind when it comes to economics, I'll take your comments in stride. Again, you're the one who suggested that extending retirement age would take away jobs. My "Ayn Randian bullshit"? Yeah - because socialized markets are far more efficient and create better jobs...


    From someone as delusional and hypocritical as you are when it comes to the economy, "feeble" is a compliment. icon_lol.gif


    Er irony... icon_rolleyes.gif


    No. Mockery.


    Well, yes - that too icon_lol.gif