Friday, August 15, 2008

Any one care about pensions?

There was much "harrumphing" throughout the membership in July when our 2% cola took effect because of the the increase in retirement contributions that kicked in at the same time. As everyone knows, this has been a consistent pattern in any hard fought COLA's we have negotiated...Get a COLA-pay a fee. Well friends, here is some good news from the world of Pensions. I am going to quote the Olympian's Adam Wilson's blog report on this, since he is infinitely more Witty than I.

From the Adam Wilson blog dated July 22nd 2008:

"In a short but decisive meeting today, the Pension Funding Council accepted State Actuary Matt Smith's recommended changes to funding the state's retirement systems.

The bottom line for state workers is a lower contribution rate, to 4.61 percent of salary from 5.45 percent.

Behind those simple numbers was a whole lot of crunching of actual data on when state workers retired, how they retired, how long they lived and how much they were paid. The experience study pointed to two assumptions that needed changing: state workers live longer, and their salaries go up more slowly, than expected.

While the longer life spans increase costs, lower salaries decrease it, leaving the Public Employees Retirement System with lower overall rates. The teachers system, however, increases in cost to the workers, to 4.93 percent of salary from 4.26 percent.

Final word on the rates rests with the Legislature when it writes the 09-11 budget next year. The cost to the general fund would be an extra $19.7 million."

Remember, the Legislature still needs to approve this move by including it in the budget. All the more reason for members to call that Legislative Hot Line.

This is my first post. The boss has been doing some "harrumphing" of his own that he is the only one talking to the thousands of you who read this thing. This is my humble attempt to please the tyrant. I will try to drop other tid-bits from the world of pensions and other shinny, sparkly things I run across as time permits.

Remember, Solidarity never made any group weaker!

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