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In Menlo Park, it's wait and see on pensions

Original post made on Jan 20, 2010

The cost of public pensions to California and its cities, towns and agencies has long been a concern, and city managers in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties have taken note, recently forming groups to address the issue collectively.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 12:55 PM

Comments (4)

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Posted by concerned taxpayer
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 20, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Meno Park has the right idea. Take this issue directly to the voters. I hope the Mountain View City Council supports a voter initiative to reign in out-of-control pensions. It is obvious that public employees and unions have taken advantage of past labor negotiations and have walked away with way too generous and unaffordable pension plans. As the article points out, this is not unique to Mountain View. I believe voters would overwhelmingly support an initiative to cut back pension benefits to new hires, to ensure that existing employees don't take advantage of the 90% of highest annual earnings rule, and to introduce a 401K type retirement plan that requires the employee to take responsibility for his/her own retirement account and makes it affordable in the long term for the City. I hope our City Council has this issue as one of their top priorities for early 2010.

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Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 20, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Finally some sanity and talk about addressing this important issue.

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Posted by kanank
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 20, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Look at what happened to pensions of Airline employees after 9/11 and their salaries since 9/11. Pensions and healthcare benefits of GM and Chrysler employees are severly cut. Our cities and towns have been operating like mini kingdoms with absoultely no common sense in paying salaries and pension benefits. For so long, money has been pouring like water from the sky and these citi officials were literally paying themselves thru their noses. Iam outraged by what these officials' and the city council members fiscally irresponsible and unethial behaviour.

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Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of another community
on Jan 21, 2010 at 5:53 am

The actual dollar amount is frightening. Elected officials seem to have failed to understand just how much money was being given away when they "OKed" these lavish retirement benefits. The table below provides the 10-, 20- and 30-year payouts for public safety personnel here in California:
Assuming a COLA of only 2%, public safety retirees receive the following payouts:

Total Pension Payouts
$100K--10-Years: $1.1M | 20-Years: $2.5M | 30-Years: $4.1M
$150K--10-Years: $1.7M | 20-Years: $3.4M | 30-Years: $6.2M
$200K--10-Years: $2.2M | 20-Years: $5.0M | 30-Years: $8.3M

It's not at all uncommon to see police and fire fights dragging down over $150K a year .. which adds another 4$-6$+M that Cities are obligated to give them after retirement.

The whole pension thing has to be rethought.

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