Messageboard - Politics

NOTE: You are viewing an archived version of the Columbus Underground forums/messageboard. As of 05/22/16 they have been closed to new comments and replies, but will remain accessible for archived searches and reference. For more information CLICK HERE

Are Ohio Public Employees Over-compensated?

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Politics Are Ohio Public Employees Over-compensated?

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 15 posts - 226 through 240 (of 363 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #427763

    thepiece
    Participant

    [quote]
    Depending on how you look at it, therefore, anywhere from 31-43% of my gross goes towards retirement. Talking about 10% as being a significant burden is therefore not going to get very far with me.[/quote]

    While I would agree that’s a phenomenal savings contribution, and would only be possible with a very high base pay, that’s hardly the norm for most US workers and households.
    http://money.cnn.com/2010/03/09/pf/retirement_confidence/

    #427764

    gramarye
    Participant

    kit444 wrote >>

    gramarye wrote >>
    For comparison: about 19-20% of my gross goes into my 401(k) (with 0.25% employer match, so another 5 percentage points there) and about another 6% goes into a Roth IRA. And, of course, that’s over and above social security contributions, since I’m private sector, which are another 6.2% from both myself and my employer. Depending on how you look at it, therefore, anywhere from 31-43% of my gross goes towards retirement. Talking about 10% as being a significant burden is therefore not going to get very far with me.

    That’s great that you can do that but putting away 43% of one’s income isn’t practical for most people.

    Do you think it’s [i]practical[/i] for me? My income would put me in the higher range of high school teachers or the lower-middle ranks of OSU professors.

    I don’t do it because it’s practical. I do it because no one is going to be subsidizing my retirement (except the younger generation after I retire, assuming social security survives that long). I would prefer not to be subsidizing anyone else’s in addition to covering 100% of my own.

    The standard for what people consider practical (or realistic, or feasible, or what have you) is going to have to change. Or, at the very least, I want to be able to avoid subsidizing the people who refused to change; if you want to retire on 70% or 80% of your salary, contributing 10% during your working years is unrealistically low, especially given that longevity continues to increase. There are probably a good number of people on this board who will live to 100. The math simply cannot be made to add up, not without investment returns better than Warren Buffett.

    #427765
    rus
    rus
    Participant

    gramarye wrote >>
    There are probably a good number of people on this board who will live to 100. The math simply cannot be made to add up, not without investment returns better than Warren Buffett.

    Which brings up a good point. How much of the current problem both with public employee pensions and social security / medicare has to do with life expectancy increasing while retirement ages haven’t kept pace?

    #427766

    gramarye
    Participant

    rus wrote >>

    gramarye wrote >>
    There are probably a good number of people on this board who will live to 100. The math simply cannot be made to add up, not without investment returns better than Warren Buffett.

    Which brings up a good point. How much of the current problem both with public employee pensions and social security / medicare has to do with life expectancy increasing while retirement ages haven’t kept pace?

    Well, depending on how you phrase and define the “problem,” you can make it any percentage you want. Our pension funds would be 100% solvent if we euthanatized all retirees one year after their retirement, but that just isn’t how we roll. :-P

    But yes, the average length of retirement has been climbing because longevity has been rising, and variance has been increasing, which makes simply raising the retirement age harder. Most “thinking” professionals (academics, judges, etc.) could work to 75; many construction workers can’t go to 65 (even if they’re just operating machinery); soldiers, police, etc. start fading even earlier.

    #427767

    HeySquare
    Participant

    rus wrote >>

    gramarye wrote >>
    There are probably a good number of people on this board who will live to 100. The math simply cannot be made to add up, not without investment returns better than Warren Buffett.

    Which brings up a good point. How much of the current problem both with public employee pensions and social security / medicare has to do with life expectancy increasing while retirement ages haven’t kept pace?

    Since all the pension systems brought forward plans this year to adjust for this, then I question why such additional draconian measures as eliminating collective bargaining should be necessary.

    #427768

    HeySquare
    Participant

    gramarye wrote >>
    Can I give you a complete performance metric system? Of course not. I can tell you one thing that is *not* relevant, however: age, which is basically the only thing that is currently rewarded, along with holding an advanced degree (which should not be necessary).
    You are confusing two issues: merit pay and overall compensation levels.

    I’m confusing nothing. You introduced the subject of merit pay as a policy solution for school improvement. I’m simply responding to your comments, since after discussing the idea of merit pay with some teachers, I have been fairly convinced that the perceived benefits would be severely outweighed by the drawbacks. While I think the idea of greater latitude to assist or remove substandard teachers would be good, I do not have any suggestions for how to do that while protecting the older, high performing teachers. Tenure was developed so that older teachers had some protection so that school districts were prevented from firing them as a budget measure. Since public sector employees do not have the ability to negotiate salary like private sector employees do, tenure helps prevent the cyclical firing of older teachers.

    You are the one contending that the current system is critically flawed, and that merit pay would significantly improve school performance, so the onus is on you to prove that point.

    #427769

    gramarye
    Participant

    By the same token, you’re the one who’s advancing the notion that “the perceived benefits would be severely outweighed by the drawbacks,” so the “onus” should be on you to prove that.

    Or we could just admit that this isn’t a courtroom and all arguments here stand or fall on their own merits, with no thumb on the scale in favor of any “default” position.

    But also, “older” and “high performing” can go together but do not always. You are correct that one of the benefits of tenure reform would be the ability to get rid of many older teachers. We obviously disagree about the relative costs and benefits of doing that, and the likelihood that genuinely “high performing” teachers would suddenly be out of work with no way to find jobs anywhere. Teaching should be like any other profession: being a high performer *is* job security, regardless of any formal institutional restrictions on management’s ability to hire and fire.

    Also, I don’t recall bringing the subject of merit pay for teachers up; I think it was someone else who did that. I’ve been trying to keep the focus broad enough to encompass all public employee unions, not just teachers’ unions.

    #427770

    kit444
    Participant

    gramarye wrote >>

    kit444 wrote >>

    gramarye wrote >>
    For comparison: about 19-20% of my gross goes into my 401(k) (with 0.25% employer match, so another 5 percentage points there) and about another 6% goes into a Roth IRA. And, of course, that’s over and above social security contributions, since I’m private sector, which are another 6.2% from both myself and my employer. Depending on how you look at it, therefore, anywhere from 31-43% of my gross goes towards retirement. Talking about 10% as being a significant burden is therefore not going to get very far with me.

    That’s great that you can do that but putting away 43% of one’s income isn’t practical for most people.

    Do you think it’s [i]practical[/i] for me? My income would put me in the higher range of high school teachers or the lower-middle ranks of OSU professors.
    I don’t do it because it’s practical. I do it because no one is going to be subsidizing my retirement (except the younger generation after I retire, assuming social security survives that long). I would prefer not to be subsidizing anyone else’s in addition to covering 100% of my own.
    The standard for what people consider practical (or realistic, or feasible, or what have you) is going to have to change. Or, at the very least, I want to be able to avoid subsidizing the people who refused to change; if you want to retire on 70% or 80% of your salary, contributing 10% during your working years is unrealistically low, especially given that longevity continues to increase. There are probably a good number of people on this board who will live to 100. The math simply cannot be made to add up, not without investment returns better than Warren Buffett.

    Let me rephrase it. It isn’t [i]possible[/i] for most people to do that. 10% is difficult. I would love to be able to put away as much as you do, and perhaps when I don’t have responsibilities like kids I can do that. You seem to analyze things based on your own experience and choices, but frankly you’re an outlier. More power to you. You apparently have made all the right choices. Speaking more generally, as the article @thepiece linked to indicated, people don’t fail to put away 20% of their income because they lack foresight but because they lack the funds. Life gets in the way. You have kids, you buy a house, you get sick, you lose your job, etc. And now we’re far astray from the original topic.

    #427771

    gramarye
    Participant

    kit444 wrote >>

    gramarye wrote >>

    kit444 wrote >>

    gramarye wrote >>
    For comparison: about 19-20% of my gross goes into my 401(k) (with 0.25% employer match, so another 5 percentage points there) and about another 6% goes into a Roth IRA. And, of course, that’s over and above social security contributions, since I’m private sector, which are another 6.2% from both myself and my employer. Depending on how you look at it, therefore, anywhere from 31-43% of my gross goes towards retirement. Talking about 10% as being a significant burden is therefore not going to get very far with me.

    That’s great that you can do that but putting away 43% of one’s income isn’t practical for most people.

    Do you think it’s [i]practical[/i] for me? My income would put me in the higher range of high school teachers or the lower-middle ranks of OSU professors.
    I don’t do it because it’s practical. I do it because no one is going to be subsidizing my retirement (except the younger generation after I retire, assuming social security survives that long). I would prefer not to be subsidizing anyone else’s in addition to covering 100% of my own.
    The standard for what people consider practical (or realistic, or feasible, or what have you) is going to have to change. Or, at the very least, I want to be able to avoid subsidizing the people who refused to change; if you want to retire on 70% or 80% of your salary, contributing 10% during your working years is unrealistically low, especially given that longevity continues to increase. There are probably a good number of people on this board who will live to 100. The math simply cannot be made to add up, not without investment returns better than Warren Buffett.

    Let me rephrase it. It isn’t [i]possible[/i] for most people to do that. 10% is difficult. I would love to be able to put away as much as you do, and perhaps when I don’t have responsibilities like kids I can do that. You seem to analyze things based on your own experience and choices, but frankly you’re an outlier. More power to you. You apparently have made all the right choices. Speaking more generally, as the article @thepiece linked to indicated, people don’t fail to put away 20% of their income because they lack foresight but because they lack the funds. Life gets in the way. You have kids, you buy a house, you get sick, you lose your job, etc. And now we’re far astray from the original topic.

    Not as far astray as you think, because those are the numbers that we’re likely to move toward for more people in an era in which the unions no longer wield the power they do today to shelter members from reality (and demand that others subsidize the difference between their fantasyland figures and the actual costs of providing benefits as generous as they are today). In other words, those numbers are the kind of numbers that may well be necessary to [i]actually fund[/i] these unfunded liabilities. You call them draconian; I call them realistic. These are the numbers that are necessary to protect the rest of the public from having to bail out the pension funds down the line. Unions should not be granted the leverage to bury their heads in the sand against this reckoning (and force the rest of the populace’s heads down into the sand with them, which I and the others who can see the writing on the wall resent).

    Of course, you may well be right that increasing the contribution rate is unfeasible. If that is the case, then the defined benefits need to decrease (or be converted to individual accounts, leaving people responsible for their own contribution levels), and people will not be able to retire on 70-80% of their salary off of 10% contributions. Frankly, investment returns would have to be fairly strong at that level to support even retirement at 50% of maximum-year salaries.

    You may be correct that I am an outlier. The response to that problem, however, should not be to compel me to make unsustainable choices or subsidize the unsustainable choices of others; it should be to nudge others in the direction of making the same choices I have, so that I’m no longer as much of an outlier and most of the population is making sustainable choices. I should not be the outlier. I should be the norm. Yes, that may mean delaying having children and buying a house, if you can’t support both of those things plus a realistic retirement commitment. If your priorities are such that having those things trumps retirement security, you should not have the right to expect those of us with different priorities to insulate you from the consequences.

    Also, I reject the premise that it isn’t “possible” for a policeman, firefighter, prison guard, or teacher to put away 25% of gross. You may ignore their existence, but there are many, many millions of people in this country living on less than 75% of even a starting teacher’s salary, let alone a senior teacher’s or college professor’s.

    #427772

    DavidF
    Participant

    gramarye wrote >>

    kit444 wrote >>

    gramarye wrote >>

    kit444 wrote >>

    gramarye wrote >>
    For comparison: about 19-20% of my gross goes into my 401(k) (with 0.25% employer match, so another 5 percentage points there) and about another 6% goes into a Roth IRA. And, of course, that’s over and above social security contributions, since I’m private sector, which are another 6.2% from both myself and my employer. Depending on how you look at it, therefore, anywhere from 31-43% of my gross goes towards retirement. Talking about 10% as being a significant burden is therefore not going to get very far with me.

    That’s great that you can do that but putting away 43% of one’s income isn’t practical for most people.

    Do you think it’s [i]practical[/i] for me? My income would put me in the higher range of high school teachers or the lower-middle ranks of OSU professors.
    I don’t do it because it’s practical. I do it because no one is going to be subsidizing my retirement (except the younger generation after I retire, assuming social security survives that long). I would prefer not to be subsidizing anyone else’s in addition to covering 100% of my own.
    The standard for what people consider practical (or realistic, or feasible, or what have you) is going to have to change. Or, at the very least, I want to be able to avoid subsidizing the people who refused to change; if you want to retire on 70% or 80% of your salary, contributing 10% during your working years is unrealistically low, especially given that longevity continues to increase. There are probably a good number of people on this board who will live to 100. The math simply cannot be made to add up, not without investment returns better than Warren Buffett.

    Let me rephrase it. It isn’t [i]possible[/i] for most people to do that. 10% is difficult. I would love to be able to put away as much as you do, and perhaps when I don’t have responsibilities like kids I can do that. You seem to analyze things based on your own experience and choices, but frankly you’re an outlier. More power to you. You apparently have made all the right choices. Speaking more generally, as the article @thepiece linked to indicated, people don’t fail to put away 20% of their income because they lack foresight but because they lack the funds. Life gets in the way. You have kids, you buy a house, you get sick, you lose your job, etc. And now we’re far astray from the original topic.

    Not as far astray as you think, because those are the numbers that we’re likely to move toward for more people in an era in which the unions no longer wield the power they do today to shelter members from reality (and demand that others subsidize the difference between their fantasyland figures and the actual costs of providing benefits as generous as they are today). In other words, those numbers are the kind of numbers that may well be necessary to [i]actually fund[/i] these unfunded liabilities. You call them draconian; I call them realistic. These are the numbers that are necessary to protect the rest of the public from having to bail out the pension funds down the line. Unions should not be granted the leverage to bury their heads in the sand against this reckoning (and force the rest of the populace’s heads down into the sand with them, which I and the others who can see the writing on the wall resent).
    Of course, you may well be right that increasing the contribution rate is unfeasible. If that is the case, then the defined benefits need to decrease (or be converted to individual accounts, leaving people responsible for their own contribution levels), and people will not be able to retire on 70-80% of their salary off of 10% contributions. Frankly, investment returns would have to be fairly strong at that level to support even retirement at 50% of maximum-year salaries.
    You may be correct that I am an outlier. The response to that problem, however, should not be to compel me to make unsustainable choices or subsidize the unsustainable choices of others; it should be to nudge others in the direction of making the same choices I have, so that I’m no longer as much of an outlier and most of the population is making sustainable choices. I should not be the outlier. I should be the norm. Yes, that may mean delaying having children and buying a house, if you can’t support both of those things plus a realistic retirement commitment. If your priorities are such that having those things trumps retirement security, you should not have the right to expect those of us with different priorities to insulate you from the consequences.
    Also, I reject the premise that it isn’t “possible” for a policeman, firefighter, prison guard, or teacher to put away 25% of gross. You may ignore their existence, but there are many, many millions of people in this country living on less than 75% of even a starting teacher’s salary, let alone a senior teacher’s or college professor’s.

    In other words, if you don’t have my opportunities, or make my decisions, screw you.

    #427773

    thepiece
    Participant

    [i][quote]gramarye wrote
    I should not be the outlier. I should be the norm. Yes, that may mean delaying having children and buying a house, if you can’t support both of those things plus a realistic retirement commitment. If your priorities are such that having those things trumps retirement security, you should not have the right to expect those of us with different priorities to insulate you from the consequences.
    Also, I reject the premise that it isn’t “possible” for a policeman, firefighter, prison guard, or teacher to put away 25% of gross. You may ignore their existence, but there are many, many millions of people in this country living on less than 75% of even a starting teacher’s salary, let alone a senior teacher’s or college professor’s.[/quote][/i]

    On this point, I somewhat agree…more professions should pay as well as the legal profession (give the education required) and allow people the disposable income to devote large sums of their income to their retirement.

    A starting teacher’s salary would be around $35K a year…and if you think those living on less than that have the disposable income to devote a quarter of their earnings to retirement (especially those with children), then your out of touch. I would love it if that was possible, but given continually stagnant wages & economic insecurity in our society and increasing cost of living that is extremely difficult.

    I also never said that all I contribute to retirement is 10% (thats my opers contribution alone…plus my match from my employer), but again I have enough perspective to now that for a lot of Americans…even that contribution is more of a dream than an attainable reality.

    #427774

    gramarye
    Participant

    No. If you don’t make my decisions, [i]don’t screw me[/i]. No one is going to be coming to cover any shortfall in my 401(k) or Roth. Why should I be covering shortfalls in public pension plans?

    #427775

    For a reality check the average tax and fringe benefit rate in the private sector (healthcare, vacation, 401 k match) etc is between 15% and 25% not 40%, which is almost 50% higher – okay And this excludes the employee paying 10% + copays and deductibles for healthcare and wihout a Cadillac plan like in the public sector

    Private Sector $50K per year + 25% = 12,500 (tax, benefit, retirement)
    =$62,500 No defined benefit. He saves 10% in 401K that is 5000 per year X 30 years (0 return) Last 10 years have been 0 return = 150K
    at 5% interest (he or she he retires on 7,500K + Social Security lets say 20K = He gets $27,500 per year and no healthcare

    Public sector
    50K + 40% benefit = $20K +50K = 70K/per year

    Retired they get (70% to 80% of their income) 70% = 35K to 40K per year + full healthcare and no investment risk

    The public employee is getting 40% to 50% more money and if they live to 85 (the if they have dependents) the situation is completley out of whack!

    Now do the math on $100K/per year government worker and then they start to get 75% more and the delta widens exponentially versus a comparably paid private sector worker making the same salary in cash wages. Yes they are overpaid and yes these costs (Total cost of ownership) are not sustainable.

    Carol Perkins on the Columbus School board didn’t even know who was gathering signatures for her to put her on the ballot (check out editorial in Columbus Dispatch Sunday) – she makes $125K per year and can’t be fired –

    This type of entitlement mentality – I deserve mine is representative of the School system Adminsitrators and they ALWAYS want more money – Yes, there are great teachers and good government workers, but the quality of the product coming out of Columbus public schools should make the system go bankrupt (the only protection for the crappy product and education) are the unions – please lets the facts stand and speak for themselves!

    #427776

    gramarye
    Participant

    thepiece wrote >>
    [i][quote]gramarye wrote
    I should not be the outlier. I should be the norm. Yes, that may mean delaying having children and buying a house, if you can’t support both of those things plus a realistic retirement commitment. If your priorities are such that having those things trumps retirement security, you should not have the right to expect those of us with different priorities to insulate you from the consequences.
    Also, I reject the premise that it isn’t “possible” for a policeman, firefighter, prison guard, or teacher to put away 25% of gross. You may ignore their existence, but there are many, many millions of people in this country living on less than 75% of even a starting teacher’s salary, let alone a senior teacher’s or college professor’s.[/quote][/i]
    On this point, I somewhat agree…more professions should pay as well as the legal profession (give the education required) and allow people the disposable income to devote large sums of their income to their retirement.
    A starting teacher’s salary would be around $35K a year…and if you think those living on less than that have the disposable income to devote a quarter of their earnings to retirement (especially those with children), then your out of touch. I would love it if that was possible, but given continually stagnant wages & economic insecurity in our society and increasing cost of living that is extremely difficult.

    For someone living on $35k/yr, putting away 25% would be putting away $8750/yr, pre-tax (assuming it’s a 401(k), which isn’t hard for a large employer to set up), leaving a pretax gross of $26,250 (upon which one would pay little or no income tax, simply due to the bracket, standard deduction, and personal exemption). Yes, I think it is feasible to live on that. Many have. I have. I was not always in my current financial position. As I mentioned above, it might mean delaying buying a home or having children. It might mean living in a more affordable neighborhood, living closer to work to save on commuting expenses, and so on. I’ve done all of the above.

    As for stagnant wages and economic insecurity: I think that is [i]even more[/i] reason to create incentives for saving and living below one’s means, not less. I really do practice what I preach. I do not live like you might think an attorney would; I drive a 10-year-old Altima, live with a roommate in a small apartment, shop at Wal-Mart (or on Amazon), and walk to work. I’m happier for it. The initial shock of a more modest lifestyle would be trying to some, but people adapt. I’ve seen it happen. Heck, I’ve seen far, far more wrenching adjustments than what I believe needs to happen to the average public sector worker–remember, I’m a bankruptcy attorney. The kind of additional contribution that public unions need to make to get back on a path of broad financial sustainability and responsibility is nothing compared to some of the dramatic cold-turkey adjustments in lifestyle I’ve had to witness.

    #427777

    Coy
    Participant

    gramarye wrote >>

    thepiece wrote >>
    [i][quote]gramarye wrote
    I should not be the outlier. I should be the norm. Yes, that may mean delaying having children and buying a house, if you can’t support both of those things plus a realistic retirement commitment. If your priorities are such that having those things trumps retirement security, you should not have the right to expect those of us with different priorities to insulate you from the consequences.
    Also, I reject the premise that it isn’t “possible” for a policeman, firefighter, prison guard, or teacher to put away 25% of gross. You may ignore their existence, but there are many, many millions of people in this country living on less than 75% of even a starting teacher’s salary, let alone a senior teacher’s or college professor’s.[/quote][/i]
    On this point, I somewhat agree…more professions should pay as well as the legal profession (give the education required) and allow people the disposable income to devote large sums of their income to their retirement.
    A starting teacher’s salary would be around $35K a year…and if you think those living on less than that have the disposable income to devote a quarter of their earnings to retirement (especially those with children), then your out of touch. I would love it if that was possible, but given continually stagnant wages & economic insecurity in our society and increasing cost of living that is extremely difficult.

    For someone living on $35k/yr, putting away 25% would be putting away $8750/yr, pre-tax (assuming it’s a 401(k), which isn’t hard for a large employer to set up), leaving a pretax gross of $26,250 (upon which one would pay little or no income tax, simply due to the bracket, standard deduction, and personal exemption). Yes, I think it is feasible to live on that. Many have. I have. I was not always in my current financial position. As I mentioned above, it might mean delaying buying a home or having children. It might mean living in a more affordable neighborhood, living closer to work to save on commuting expenses, and so on. I’ve done all of the above.
    As for stagnant wages and economic insecurity: I think that is [i]even more[/i] reason to create incentives for saving and living below one’s means, not less. I really do practice what I preach. I do not live like you might think an attorney would; I drive a 10-year-old Altima, live with a roommate in a small apartment, shop at Wal-Mart (or on Amazon), and walk to work. I’m happier for it. The initial shock of a more modest lifestyle would be trying to some, but people adapt. I’ve seen it happen. Heck, I’ve seen far, far more wrenching adjustments than what I believe needs to happen to the average public sector worker–remember, I’m a bankruptcy attorney. The kind of additional contribution that public unions need to make to get back on a path of broad financial sustainability and responsibility is nothing compared to some of the dramatic cold-turkey adjustments in lifestyle I’ve had to witness.

    I’ve been waiting for you to hit this logic…

    I’ve been in the classroom, and it can be brutal these days. I don’t think anyone who has worked in some of the more challenged school districts would deny that. Certainly no one would suggest teachers are overpaid if they walked a few miles in their shoes. Yes, I’ve definitely seen bad teachers, too.

    But to suggest that teachers should go get a degree and then live on about $350 a week take home pay (based on the above quote) and suck it up is just plain insulting.

    I’m surprised more teachers haven’t come out of the woodwork to speak their piece.

Viewing 15 posts - 226 through 240 (of 363 total)

The forum ‘Politics’ is closed to new topics and replies.