In case you have not noticed, there appears to be a full court press underway to kill public sector defined benefit retirement plans... If the “reforms” being called for become a reality, I fear that we should be prepared for one of two predictable outcomes. One would be a welfare society of epic proportions imposing the highest possible cost on workers to support the elderly. The other would be what could be called senilicide where we simply stop caring for the elderly and resort to the ice flow solution.
New legislation would move new state employees and highway workers into a hybrid pension plan. These hybrid plans cost more to fund and produce less investment income than traditional defined benefit (DB) plans. This specific plan seeks to cut guaranteed pensions by 41%.
Conservative groups across the US are planning a co-ordinated assault against public sector rights and services in the key areas of education, healthcare, income tax, workers' compensation and the environment,documents obtained by the Guardian reveal. The strategy for the state-level organisations, which describe themselves as "free-market thinktanks", includes proposals from six different states for cuts in public sector pensions...
"..[S]tates all over the country are claiming they not only need to abrogate legally binding contracts with state workers but also should seize retirement money from widows to finance years of illegal loans, giant fees to billionaires like Dan Loeb and billions in tax breaks to the Curt Schillings of the world. It ain't right. If someone has to tighten a belt or two, let's start there. If we've still got a problem after squaring those... away, that's something that can be discussed. But asking cops, firefighters and teachers to take the first hit for a crisis caused by reckless pols and thieves on Wall Street is low, even by American standards."
"Pew may be mostly known for its financial support of PBS programs, which has given the foundation the kind of publicity that reflects the self-described 'non-partisan and non-ideological' nature of Pew’s work. Yet Pew has become a key player in one of America’s most partisan issues as cities and states tackle the complex problems involving public worker pensions..."
"Should an Enron Executive Be Dictating Public Pension Policy? In the lead-up to his anti-pension partnership with Pew, Arnold’s most relevant connection to pensions and retirement security came from working at Enron – a company whose collapse destroyed its own workers’ pensions and helped to damage the financial stability of public pension funds across America..."
"A Missouri think tank wants $25,000 for research, but has already determined the conclusions it plans to reach. The conservative Show-Me Institute, closely associated with mega-donor Rex Sinquefield, wants the money to publish a paper promoting free market reforms to public pension plans."