Progressive pension reform - Page 2

Under Mayors Willie Brown and Gavin Newsom, the city used its flush pension fund as a way to avoid tough decisions on employee pay

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The first element of any new pension plan should be progressive in scale: capping pensions at, say, $100,000 (or lower); eliminating pension spiking; and requiring high-paid employees to contribute a higher percentage to the fund than low-paid workers would make sense. Policy makers should treat this as what it is, a pay cut — and any cuts should fall disproportionately on those who are more able to afford it. Requiring the city to put its share into the fund every year, even if the market is booming, would help ease the pain in bad years.

But there should be no pension reform without tax reform. If San Francisco is going to ask its employees to do more to balance the local budget — and that probably has to happen — then city officials should be willing to ask the richest residents and businesses to share the pain too.

Comments

..."It's also true that the *average* midlevel city worker gets a pension between $20,000 and $24,000 a year."

Can you back this up- it's not even close? There is a reason SFERs conceals this type of info like state secrets- the #s are big.

The average pension of a career retiree for Contra Costa County was $85,500 in 2009. You're trying to tell us the SF County average retiree pension is $24,000 in 2011? Uh, no.

And those labor "concessions" you reference ($500 million), well the last round of $235 million was temporary and will disappear this year with only $3 million remaining in permanent savings for dental insurance. See recent budget committee hearings.

...and Heather Fong is not collecting $229,000 "for life." She received a bonus COLA of 3.5% in January- yes a bonus after the pension fund lost billions in 2008. She will receive periodic bonus COLAs and regular COLAs throughout her retirement.

Lastly, you should actually read the details of Adachi's latest plan since it mirrors what you have proposed.

Posted by Flowers on Mar. 31, 2011 @ 10:02 am

this is an accurate article fair, well written & researched. concessions are just what you say they are,temporary & are agreed upon by workers to help out in difficult times. investement bankers gambled with funds & lost, that is not the fault of workers , public or private. yes changes need to be made & will be, however, anger & jealousy between citizens& public employees will only help the wealthy continue to game the system & create an
upper class & a lower class so they will have complete control of our society.....

Posted by GuestDG on Mar. 31, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

Agree- no reason to be concerned with accuracy & journalism & getting the math right & all that detail stuff...You forgot your "attacking" public workers talking point...

Posted by Flowers on Apr. 04, 2011 @ 9:59 am

Jesus...

Only thing that could have made it more generic and tired is something about the Koch brothers. Put that in next time.

Posted by Sambo on Apr. 04, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

"Today, we spend $1 out of every $7 on pension and benefit costs for city employees; in five years, it will be one out of every $4."

Bankruptcy looms unless we urgently deal with this problem.

One of Adachi's proposals is to cap all pension payments at $85,000 a year. No one would be allowed to receive more than that.

This is entirely reasonable. One hopes that city workers won't howl in pain again during the upcoming campaign, or hire the Newsom Shill to force-feed the voters with lies again.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 04, 2011 @ 2:27 pm