Examining Pension Reforms – and CSLGE

The Center for State & Local Government Excellence (CSLGE) came out with an issue brief today examining pension reforms in state and local government plans in the aftermath of the financial crisis so what better time to examine both their brief and the CSLGE itself.

Based on their latest 990 fling the CSLGE had total revenue of $1,272,526, some of which was spread around to other think tanks:


and $753,478 to a place called ICMA:


Principal compensation:


Included in the 254,514 compensation package was $25,174 for retirement and other deferred compensation but no 5500 forms come up on http://www.efast.dol.gov when searching under their EIN (do they have a SEP?)

Now to excerpts from the brief:

  • 74 percent of state plans and 57 percent of large local plans have cut
  • benefits and/or raised employee contributions to curb rising costs.
  • While the majority of state and local plans reduced benefits for new employees only, 25 percent also cut benefits for current employees.
  • The two most common benefit reductions for current employees were increases in employee contributions and reductions to the COLA.
  • New employees experienced the greatest reductions in core benefits, most commonly: (1) increases in the age and tenure required to claim benefits and (2) reductions in the benefit multiplier and lengthening the period used to calculate final average salary.
  • Plans more likely to make cuts had the highest annual required contribution (ARC) as a percentage of revenue or had lower employee contributions.



28 responses to this post.

    • Posted by dentss dunnigan on December 29, 2016 at 4:21 pm

      Once Trump makes “right to work” the law of the land these unions will have a hard time keeping their members under their thumb .


      • Posted by Anonymous on December 29, 2016 at 4:59 pm

        Right to work or do you mean eat sh*t and like it?


      • Posted by Anonymous on December 29, 2016 at 5:18 pm

        The GOP should remain in office indefinitely b/c they’re making a “future” for generation whine. Right to work and environmental deregulation should make for a delightful “future”.


        • now this is delightful …..Between his regular and bonus pensions, Johanson, 72, has received approximately $3 million since retiring.
          Asked if his service to the city was worth that much, he said, “Probably not.”
          “I have to admit that we made the mistake back then, and I have to admit that I make too much money now, but what can I do?” ..http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-el-monte-pensions/


          • Posted by Anonymous on December 30, 2016 at 9:37 am

            delightful will be when the GOP are floating on a raft due to rising waters and still denonucing global warming. that’s the legacy they’ll leave for future generations.

          • Posted by PS Drone on December 30, 2016 at 5:00 pm

            “What can I do?” Make your annual personal check for at least $100,000 payable to the City of El Monte. That’s what you can do you greedy SOB. $250K “pension” — I know, I know, it’s really deferred compensation — is plain and simply F’kn outrageous. These BS drone pensions should be capped at $60K no matter what you did or how long you did it. Another example of Public Sector grand larceny.

          • Posted by Anonymous on December 30, 2016 at 5:35 pm

            I hope you get this upset about ALL of the corporate greed and the weatlh it’s bestowed upon this country’s ultra wealthy. If so the kudos to you and if not then ? btw don’t give me that capitalistic free choice BS!

      • Posted by Anonymous on December 29, 2016 at 6:01 pm

        Trump is going to run the U.S. by executive orders?


  1. I don’t consider retroactive pension increases for those cashing in and moving out, followed by cuts in pay and benefits for new hires, followed by claims put employees deserve more money because the job is unappealing, to be “reforms.”

    Especially when it happens over and over again, as in NYC.


  2. Posted by S Moderation Douglas on December 31, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Off topic…

    Another year, for better or worse.

    I would like to thank John Bury for the last year and the years before for providing a forum for many of us and for the information he has shared and research he’s done. I’m sure there have been a lot of comments he hasn’t agreed with (guilty), but he has been remarkably tolerant.

    This is, I assume, an unpaid, part time sideline, but it ranks up there with most of the “professional” web sites for information and discussion.

    Thank you, Mr. Bury


  3. Posted by S Moderation Douglas on December 31, 2016 at 11:26 am

    Ed Ring, eat your heart out!


  4. Posted by S Moderation Douglas on December 31, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Inquiring minds want to know…

    This may be a real time problem this year for Ironworkers Local 17. As I understand, they have been tentatively approved for a pension reduction, which must be voted on by members. And it may be a real problem in the very near future for public pensions.

    If you were a retiree in a system on the brink, would you vote to reduce your own pension by as much as fifty percent (maybe more) knowing that if you don’t, you may lose one hundred percent of your pension in five years? Or ten years, or twenty?

    Would you vote your principles of your pocketbook?

    If you vote your pocketbook, you have to predict your own longevity, vs the longevity of your plan fund…

    Good luck.


    • The vote is rigged. As I understand it if you any of the 4,000 who get ballots do not respond it is counted as a ‘yes’ vote.

      MPRA not much of a factor since these plans would likely get PBGC assistance anyway to get their covered benefits. Only difference is that some get about 10% more.


  5. Posted by S Moderation Douglas on December 31, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    I like Mary Pat Campbell…


    A bit quirky, in a good way, and often over my head. Quotes…

    “Give me money!” (Anyway, I would like money. Please give me money.)

    “Other ways to let me get more money” (If I come up with any other ways I can make money off of you, I’ll letyou know.)
    Disclaimer… That page last updated in 2001
    Ed Mendel… Calpensions

    Good source, interesting comments. I think it’s a paid gig for him, but by whom, I don’t know. I never see ads or requests for donations.
    California Policy Center/Union watch/Transparent California…. All under one umbrella, I think.

    Very biased in my humble opinion… 501c3 now actively soliciting. Ads on some sites.
    Mark Glennon… Very astute guy; as a person depending on a pension, he makes me very nervous sometimes.*

    Ads on website.

    *On the plus side, he seemed to favor protecting pensions under $50,000… good for me.

    On the bad side, that was an off hand statement. I don’t thing he has actually done the math.
    Pension pulse… Leo Kolivakis

    Good articles sometimes. Seems to be a proponent of Defined Benefit Pensions (Canadian style)

    Donations (don’t appear to be tax deductible, unless maybe as a business expense for institutional subscriptions.)

    Looks like it’s probably a full time job for him.

    That’s an abbreviated list of sites I either “like” or just like to read. Mary Pat could get a donation from me. California Policy Center, no way.

    Happy New Year,

    In Moderation


  6. […] alarming here but that might have more to do with CSLGE’s funding than those of the […]


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