Pension Costs Are Still Eating Government Budgets

By Edward Ring
About 20 years ago, I read an ad in a local Sacramento newspaper that said “Get a government job and become an instant millionaire.” The ad went on to describe how public bureaucrats in California enjoyed benefits private sector employees can only dream of, including a guaranteed retirement pension worth the equivalent of millions of...

TAGS: California pension reform, California pensions, Edward Ring, public pensions, Social Security

Post-Coronapocalypse pension reform checklist for California

By Edward Ring
In a perfect world, California’s state and local public employees would receive exactly the same retirement benefits as federal employees. They would receive a modest defined benefit, a contributory 401K, and they would participate in Social Security. Unfortunately, in California, while some state and local public employees are offered 401Ks, and many participate in Social Security, all of...

TAGS: coronavirus, Edward Ring, government unions, pension reform, Public Employee Pension Reform Act, public employees, Social Security

Manhattan Beach firefighter pay averages over $300,000 per year

By Edward Ring
There is now a $300,000 club for California’s firefighters. In the City of Manhattan Beach during 2018, the average pay and benefits for a full time firefighter were $300,242. While the Manhattan Beach firefighters, at least through 2018, belong to an exclusive club, twelve California cities pay their firefighters over $250,000 per year, and 69...

TAGS: CalFire, Charter schools, firefighters, Social Security, UTLA

Major-party presidential candidates offer no solutions on federal retirement crises

By California Policy Center
For Immediate Release June 2, 2016 California Policy Center Contact: Will Swaim (714) 573-2231 SACRAMENTO — Californians may be accustomed to living with the specter of a public pension crisis. But the federal government’s problem with its retirement systems – including Social Security – is far worse, and yet none of the three remaining major-party...

TAGS: Bernie Sanders, CalPERS, CalSTRS, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, pensions, Social Security

Average CalPERS Pension Up To 5 Times Greater Than Comparable Social Security Payouts

By Robert Fellner
CalPERS officials are fond of saying that their average pension benefit is only about $31,500 – suggesting that CalPERS members’ benefits are at Social Security-type levels. On this basis, they argue it’s a “myth” that public pension benefits are excessive. But is that really true? What happens when something like Social Security’s benefit assumptions –...

TAGS: CalPERS, Social Security

The Misleading Arguments of Those Who Fight Against Pension Reform

By Edward Ring
Weakening pensions is a choice, not an imperative. The crisis is political, not actuarial. – Susan Greenbaum, guest editorial, Al Jazeera America, October 20, 2014 With this thesis highlighted, Greenbaum, a retired professor of anthropology at the University of South Florida, has just published a guest editorial that provides in one place a useful example...

TAGS: defined benefit pensions, pension fund solvency, pension reform, Social Security

How Unions and Bankers Work Together to Protect Unsustainable Defined Benefits

By Edward Ring
One of the biggest unreported, blockbuster stories in modern America is the alliance between public sector unions and the speculative banking industry. It is a story saturated in greed, drowning in delusion, smothered and marginalized by an avalanche of propaganda – paid for by taxpayers who fund both the public sector unions and the public...

TAGS: CalPERS, CalSTRS, Public sector pensions, public sector unions, Social Security

Social Security is Healthy Compared to Public Sector Pensions

By Edward Ring
Last week yet another missive on the lessons to be learned from Detroit’s bankruptcy was published, this time in Forbes Magazine by Jeffrey Dorfman, an economist at the University of Georgia. Dorfman’s article, “Detroit’s Bankruptcy Should Be A Warning To Every Worker Expecting A Pension, Or Social Security,” clearly implies that future Social Security benefits...

TAGS: Detroit bankruptcy, Public sector pensions, Social Security, U.S. Census Bureau

Social Security Trends and Data

By Mike Shedlock
Editor’s Note:  If you want links to core data on Social Security finance, this post by UnionWatch contributor Mike Shedlock is a good place to start. Shedlock correctly notes that during the most recent 12 months the Social Security program ran a deficit for the first time in history. The 2013 resumption of full 6.25%...

TAGS: Social Security