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PA Employees and Actuarial Matters

Original post made by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Aug 21, 2009

This is a Third Rail Matter, and I understand that as I write this.

This story contains 229 words.

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Comments (6)

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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

How about fully funded pensions?

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Posted by Anna
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 21, 2009 at 6:01 pm

We need to move Palo Alto employees to a combination Social Security/401k model like the rest of the world has. Police and (maybe) Fire might be excepted from this scheme since their working years are somewhat shortened.

But there's no reason a secretary, a gardener, a City Manager or any of the other positions which have private sector equivalents need to have pensions that allow them to retire in their 50's at close to pre-retirement income with health and other benefits. And besides, as Paul Losch points out, even if there was some theoretical reason to offer defined benefit pensions to city workers, we just can't do it anymore: it is unsustainable.

We could contract with the private sector for a lot (not all of course) of what the city must do to save a lot of money - because private sector firms tend to be more efficient, but also because they're not saddled with pension burdens that municipal workers are.

If the SEIU is going to strike, we should consider that an opportunity to implement the kinds of major changes Paul Losch seems to suggest are necessary.

Will our council members have the fortitude? Probably not based on past performance.

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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 21, 2009 at 11:10 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Like anyone, employees will take what they can get. It is a management obligation not to make gifts of money that isn't there yet. I won't suggest that council folk set rates in exchange for election support; if it was to get superior management I sure see noo sign they got it.

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Posted by annoyed
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2009 at 6:19 am

Where was the outrage when the dot-com boom was occuring and city workers were still willing to work under the same conditions they have now? I never read any "woe is me" comments from them while the private sector was making millions. They plugged along knowing they wouldn't be rich but knowing their families would have food on the table and clothes on their back. Now the tables are turned due to an economy that they had no control over, and you people are treating them like villains. I am so disappointed in you Palo Altans. You are acting like spoiled chidren.

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Posted by Tim
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 24, 2009 at 8:51 am

I agree with annoyed!!

These workers were getting 2-3% raises each year and you never heard them crying. Sour grapes you cry babies!

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Posted by comprehension
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 25, 2009 at 9:15 am

Read the comment, the benefits are "actuarily unsustainable.".

It doesn't matter what you thing, Palo Alto cannot afford to maintain the current level of benefits. We need to either reduce benefits or reduce staff.

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