Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In the Eye of the Pension Storm

The eye of the pension storm is focused in Southern California.

ABC News came out with this report on Pension Friction in Contra Coast County. Contra Coast is a bedroom community in the San Francisco - Oakland area. Although the report focused on an issue called "spiking"" it is really just the tip of a much larger fight that has been brewing for some time and threatens to become much larger.

Last summer we saw the Toronto strike focus on an issue of accrued sick time. The vacation time issue in this news report is based on the the same concept, a lump sum payout at retirement. Because public sector pensions are based on final salary, these terminal payments go towards the calculation of the worker's pension. The result is known as pension spiking or boosting.  

The issue of spiking is really just the current bulls eye on a fight over public sector pensions.

In the report we see Marcia Fritz interviewed. She is the President of the taxpayers advocate group called California Pension Reform. They are demanding the reform of public sector pensions in California.

One of the accomplishments of California Pension Reform has been to bring to light a serious issue that has been hidden and undisclosed to taxpayers for a long time. They have been responsible for the push in California to disclose $100,000 pensions in the public sector. Their work has been aided by the Pension Tsunami.

Pensions are an issue that will steamroll over every level of government in North America. Public pensions are the same in design and cost for workers from the City of Toronto, to California State to federal workers in Ottawa. They are surprisingly consistent across cites, states and provinces.

Unfortunately too many politicians and taxpayers are unaware of the looming disaster. Arnold Schwarzenegger calls them a locomotive.
"We are about to get run over by a locomotive and we can see the lights coming at us. We can see the lights coming"
Pension reform is an issue that is very controversial. These entitlements will be  furiously by the public sector unions regardless of the costs to taxpayers.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. The storm is reaching Illinois. The governor recently approved issuance of $3 billion in bonds for pensions. The prior governor approved over $10 billion for the same purpose about five years ago.

  3. That locomotive is unstopable .... as the greedy Civil Servants want "theirs"(he Taxpayers be damned).

    The pitchforks will be out soon .......

  4. love to see this discussion! It’s great to see you all working through the issues and also, it’s great to see recommendations for testing. In the end, it’s what your actual users do and prefer that should be your biggest driver in making these decisions.
    Great article and discussions!
    small business

  5. What's to really discuss?

    There isn't one element of "spiking" that was EVER available to Private Sector pension. "Spiking" is a Public Sector "perk" which make ZERO logical sence other than to unfairly enrich the Plan participants at the expense of the unknowing TAXPAYER.

    It's all part of the Cicvil Servant "entitlement" mentality. Do you really think they are open open to "negotiating" this stuff away? Nope, it just ME ME ME ME.

    As stated above, it's an unstopable train wreck.

  6. who cares?
    those without pensions
    those with pensions but without cola
    those without paid life time health insurance
    the public that must be 62 or older to retire
    and its OUR MONEY !!

  7. You Can Thank Your Local Politician and His Joined At The Hip Public Service Union Thug For All Of This Mess !!! Vote Out All Incumbents !!! Ban All Political Contributions By Public Service Unions !!! Ban All Public Service Unions !!! I guess you know where I'm coming from !!!