The Free Lunch Is Over! The Steak And Wine Has Turned Into A Baloney Sandwhich With Water

Posted By on December 21, 2010

This pension issue will have to be addressed front and center very soon…..Virginia stopped requiring public employee pension contributions back in 1983, but the free lunch is now OVER!  It’s a snow ball going down hill, and we all know how big the snow ball is at the bottom.   Kick the can down the road, until one day the snow ball turns into an avalanche and rolls over everyone!

2011: The Year Public Pension Plans Get Whacked

By Carla Fried         

Dec 21, 2010

The traditional defined-benefit pension that is the dominant retirement plan for public-sector employees officially has a huge target on its back. And 2011 is shaping up as the year politicians begin to take serious aim at cutting promised benefits. What was a mere trickle of states and municipalities starting to address massive unfunded pension liabilities in 2010, which are now estimated to total more than $1 trillion, looks to grow to a torrent in 2011.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie may be the most voluble agitator for pension cutbacks, but he’s got plenty of company across the country. Here’s what some other states and cities are considering:

Virginia. Governor Bob McDonnell recently proposed that Virginia’s public employees be required to chip in 5 percent of their pay to the state’s pension fund. Virginia stopped requiring public employee pension contributions in 1983.

Houston. Mayor Annise Parker has started the “conversation” by deeming the city’s three major pension plans covering Houston’s police, firefighters, and municipal employees unsustainable. “There’s a difference between a fair pension and a gold-plated pension, and the citizens of Houston have to know that we can find a fair balance in there,” Mayor Parker told the Houston Chronicle.

Maryland. A proposal released yesterday by a state pension commission would increase the years of service for workers to qualify for Maryland public retirement benefits. Employees would need 15 years on the job (up from the current 5) to qualify for retiree health benefits, and the vesting period for the state’s pension plan would increase from its current five years to 10 years. The commission also wants to shift half of teacher pension costs from the state to local counties.

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