Oregon Gubernatorial Debate on Pensions

Oregonians got to hear a question about what their gubernatorial candidates would do about a $22 billion underfunding of public pensions in the state. No real answer but some tiptop pandering from the current governor:
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A little later:
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Without having researched Oregon pensions, my initial impression:


If those workers are so deserving then why is this governor being part of a process that is, for all practical purposes, stealing at least some of their pensions by willfully underfunding them?

Full pension discussion:
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28 responses to this post.

  1. What a tool she is. The same old, same old. The regurgitated “Talking Points” we have all heard a bazillion times before from the fraudsters…Spin and lies.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Stanley on October 12, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Not everyone will agree with me on this, but it should be axiomatic that funding a retirement is primarily the responsibility of the, drum roll please, the retiree. Maybe Mercer Island, Cupertino and Culver City can retire their aging employees in high style, but most communities and states don’t have the means for such extravagance. The Guv points out that $30K isn’t a great retirement which may be true. It is pretty good money for being on permanent holiday routine. For doing nothing. Not contributing or helping to pull the wagon.

    When the funding crisis comes, the burden will fall on guess who?

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on October 12, 2018 at 8:40 am

      WHY w/o clarification did she say that the “average” retirement payout of Oregonians is $2,300/mo ($27,600/yr) when factored into that “average” is:

      (a) those who work only part time
      (b) those who had short careers in OR gov’t
      (c) those who retire LONG ago on MUCH lower salary scales and pension formulas/provisions MUCH less generous than the current ones

      I’d bet the “average” for a full-career/full-time now-retiring non-safety worker is around $60K, and likely $80K to $100K for Safety workers.

      THAT is the problem ……… along with the VERY young ages at which actuarially unreduced pensions can begin, and COLA-increases (virtually unheard-of in Corporate-sponsored PRIVATE Sector pensions).

      And VERY generous retiree healthcare subsidies? WHY, who in the Private Sector gets substantive employer-contributions toward employer-sponsored retired healthcare today …….. NOBODY.
      —————————————————

      Clearly she is beholden to the Public Sector Unions …….. a NIGHTMARE for Oregon’s Taxpayers.

      Reply

      • WHY w/o clarification did she say that the “average” retirement payout of Oregonians is $2,300/mo ($27,600/yr) when factored into that “average” is:

        (a) those who work only part time
        (b) those who had short careers in OR gov’t
        (c) those who retire LONG ago on MUCH lower salary scales and pension formulas/provisions MUCH less generous than the current ones

        Why the hell do you THINK she did it? Because she KNOWS it is bullshit and if she told the truth she would never be elected or re-elected. Just like CalTURDS spins the same BS. Just like all the elected officials spin that whopper lie.

        Reply

        • Posted by Stanley on October 12, 2018 at 2:01 pm

          “…if she told the truth she would never be elected or re-elected.”

          I would prefer that you are correct on that, but I would bet no money on it. Portland, Eugene and Corvallis have a bunch of lefties and unseating the liberals is a very tall order. I’m not sure that there would be any change if they were all on the ground kicking and screaming.

          Reply

        • Posted by Stephen Douglas on October 12, 2018 at 5:46 pm

          “WHY w/o clarification did she say that the “average” retirement payout of Oregonians is $2,300/mo ($27,600/yr.)…”

          Because, the average is the proper comparison that financially impacts the Taxpayers, or so we’ve been told, many times.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on October 12, 2018 at 9:33 pm

            No…………… NOT an “average” that include:

            (a) those who work only part time
            (b) those who had short careers in OR gov’t
            (c) those who retire LONG ago on MUCH lower salary scales and pension formulas/provisions MUCH less generous than the current ones
            (d) the 50% share paid to survivor beneficiaries

            She was misleading her audience, INTENTIONALLY ……….. as YOU Stephen Douglas/Earth do all the time.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on October 12, 2018 at 10:28 pm

            Still, the average is what financially impacts the taxpayers.

            Average pension times number of pensioners equal total cost to taxpayers. It’s axiomatic.

            It’s not just a name, it’s a way of life.

          • Posted by Tough Love on October 12, 2018 at 10:49 pm

            No Stephen, what “financially impacts” the Taxpayers is that (with VERY few exceptions) States & Cities are CONTINUING to allow current workers to accrue pension accruals based on DB formulas & provisions that ROUTINLY result in pensions with a “value upon retirement” that is 3 to 6 TIMES greater than the pensions of the lucky few Private Sector workers who still get them and who retire with the SAME wages, the SAME years of service, and at the SAME age.

            And with the TAXPAYER responsible for all but the 10% to 20% of the total cost of these ludicrously excessive pensions that are paid for with worker-contributions (INCLUDING all the expected investment gains over their careers).

            ALL of these PUBLIC Sector DB Pensions should be frozen (ZERO future growth) with workers transferred to a 401k-style DC Plan (for their future service)with a taxpayer contribution COMPARABLE to what Private Sector workers typically get from their employers (3%of pay) and no more.

            Go a problem with EQUAL ?

            —————————————-

            Nothing new ………….. you rarely say ANYTHING that isn’t misleading.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on October 12, 2018 at 11:38 pm

            Oh, the irony!

            There are thousands of Oregon …recent… …full career… retirees who actually receive pensions in the $23,000 range. And they are assuredly, according to Biggs, among the most “overcompensated”, compared to equipment private sector workers.

          • Posted by Tough Love on October 13, 2018 at 6:34 am

            Quoting S. Moderation Douglas (Stephen Douglas/Earth)…………

            “There are thousands of Oregon …recent… …full career… retirees who actually receive pensions in the $23,000 range. ”

            Oh I seriously doubt that, and with an STARTING pension (and. COLA-increased thereafter, increasing the pension’s “value” by 25% to 35% …… COLAs that PRIVATE Sector pensions VERY VERY rarely include) that for new full-career retirees that likely AVERAGES $60+K (and $80K to $100+K for Safety workers).

            Can anyone direct us to the ACTUAL statistics?

          • Because, the average is the proper comparison that financially impacts the Taxpayers, or so we’ve been told, many times.
            Says WHO, you? NO, the “average” is not the “proper comparison”, despite yourself proclaimed whopper. Because using PART-TIME employees is not an “average”.

    • Posted by PS Drone on October 12, 2018 at 1:57 pm

      In the heyday of Fortune 500 DB plans (pre-ERISA and before the hollowing out of our manufacturing base) they were generally “non-contributory”, being part of the overall employee compensation scheme. After the mandates of ERISA were put in place and DC plans came into vogue, this phenomenon became rare in the private sector. It still hangs on in many public sector plans though, just like the ridiculous levels of benefits which are now computed on much more competitive (or even higher) wages than when the original plans were put in place. The best of both worlds: raise salaries to be competitive with the private sector, but keep the outrageous pension calculations that once were used to make up for comparatively low wages and to encourage career public sector employment but have now created undeserved lottery winnings because they are based on much higher career earnings. The pension computations should have come down each year as the annual earnings went up thanks to Union power and corrupt politicians. Didn’t happen and now all of these plans are broke.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on October 12, 2018 at 9:37 pm

        Quoting …………………

        ” because they are based on much higher career earnings.”

        That’s wrong. Public Sector DB Plan formulas are NOT based on “career average” earnings, but in FINAL Year (or Final/Highest 3 or 5 year average earnings). The latter results in MUCH greater pensions.

        Reply

    • It’s frustrating and appalling that the “courts” are actually saying that future generations will continue to be legally responsible for DEFINED BENEFITS established by previous generations! Are the courts really supporting taxation on younger generations without representation?

      The general public’s concerns about those that are under-compensated and entitled to retirements may be valid concerns, but life is not fair. Their beliefs are now imbedded onto their children, who are unable to vote today, who will bear the costs of many enacted “Defined retirement benefit” pension programs. These folks have no empathy for their children and for future generations who did not vote for these programs, but will bear the taxation on them to fund generous programs elected by their elders.

      There may be some similarities with other inter-generational inequities, but the younger generations will at some time participate in Social Security and Medicare, but they will NEVER participate in the defined benefit pensions for their elders that they must bear the funding responsibilities.

      It’s time for a lawsuit that claims inter-generational inequity on financing “defined retirement benefit” pensions is unconstitutional. How can a judge claim that promises made by elected officials that require youths who have no voting power to pay those promises is fair???

      Reply

  3. Posted by Tough Love on October 14, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Off Topic……………….

    “Learn about the government retirees getting rich off California taxpayers

    What do a UC professor, disgraced college chancellor, globe-trotting city manager, and corrupt sheriff have in common? They’re making the big bucks in retirement thanks to out-of-control public pensions.”

    —————————————————

    https://www.100kclub.com/

    Reply

    • https://www.100kclub.com/

      Thank you, California Policy Center…

      1) for the list of “top ten pensions”?

      Six of the top ten “pensions” ($391,493 /year to $574,105 /year) are actually one-time lump sum payments, not actually “$574,105 /year”.
      (It is noted in the fine print, FWIW.)

      2) “While Retired City Manager Golfs, New Americans in El Monte Struggle to Make Ends Meet”

      LOL… In the Los Angeles area, he would … almost … make it into the top 5 percent of earners. Probably golfs in Scotland because he couldn’t afford Country club fees in El Monte.

      Sure, if you earn the “average wage” ($56,000/yr) in the El Monte area, James Mundessen looks like a high flyer. But to the top 5 percent of private sector workers, Jim is a piker.

      C) Quoting Ed Ring… “The problem with defined benefits is not that they exist. The problem is that we have set up a system where public employees operate under a set of retirement benefit formulas and incentives that are roughly four times better than what private sector workers can expect.”

      Note to Ed Ring… It is invalid to compare pensions outside the context of total compensation. (ask James Mundessen)

      Don’t be invalid.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on October 14, 2018 at 8:53 pm

        Wow ……… Take THAT Stephen Douglas/Earth. Mr.Ring agrees with my 4x(something I have been pointing out for years). And to Mr. Ring, for CA Safety workers, it’s more like 6x.

        And to you ………. why are you misleading again? Or at least LEAVING OUT that per the AEI Study, in CA on a “Total Compensation” basis (wages +pensions +benefits), PUBLIC Sector workers have a 23%-of-pay ADVANTAGE over their PRIVATE Sector counterparts …………. rising to 33% if the value of the MUCH greater Public Sector job security is included.

        AND with Safety workers being EXCLUDED form the AEI sutudy, and they having MUCH greater than average Public Sector wages and pensions, had they been INCLUDED in the AEI study, the 23% and 33% above would have assuredly been considerably higher.
        ——————————

        So much for ANOTHER of your BS comments.

        Reply

      • Posted by Stephen Douglas on October 14, 2018 at 9:57 pm

        Ed Ring…

        “California’s Government Workers Make TWICE As Much as Private Sector Workers”

        California Policy Center, January 24, 2017

        Who you gonna believe?

        #23%bulls hit

        Wow ……… Take THAT Tough Love/Anonymous

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on October 14, 2018 at 10:18 pm

          The 23% and 33% (and higher if Safety workers were included), and it comes from a study authored by Andrew G. Biggs. The following is Mr. Biggs Bio:

          “Andrew G. Biggs is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies Social Security reform, state and local government pensions, and public sector pay and benefits.
          Before joining AEI, Biggs was the principal deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA), where he oversaw SSA’s policy research efforts. In 2005, as an associate director of the White House National Economic Council, he worked on Social Security reform. In 2001, he joined the staff of the President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security. Biggs has been interviewed on radio and television as an expert on retirement issues and on public vs. private sector compensation. He has published widely in academic publications as well as in daily newspapers such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. He has also testified before Congress on numerous occasions. In 2013, the Society of Actuaries appointed Biggs co-vice chair of a blue ribbon panel tasked with analyzing the causes of underfunding in public pension plans and how governments can securely fund plans in the future. In 2014, Institutional Investor Magazine named him one of the 40 most influential people in the retirement world. In 2016, he was appointed by President Obama to be a member of the financial control board overseeing reforms to Puerto Rico’s budget and the restructuring of the island’s debts.
          Biggs holds a bachelor’s degree from Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland, master’s degrees from Cambridge University and the University of London, and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.”

          And the following describes Stephen Douglas/Earth:

          Retire CA Public Sector Light Bulb Changer
          ———————————————————–

          Who are you going to believe ?

          Reply

    • California Policy Center

      Reply

  4. Back on topic…

    Q: How many Oregon PERS retirees receive $100,000 a year or more?

    A: Call them the one percenters, as in, about 1 percent of current PERS retirees get more than $100,000 a year in benefits. (2,032 former public employees)

    —————————————————-

    Q: How much do the top 1 percent of private sector Oregonians earn?

    A: At least $389,000… Average income of top 1 percent = $979,000.

    Public workers (or retirees) need not apply.

    Reply

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